The DHL Stormers claimed a 19-11 win over the Southern Kings in a tough all-South African Vodacom Super Rugby Derby played at a rain-soaked DHL Newlands on Saturday.
DHL Stormers fullback Joe Pietersen contributed 14 points with his trusty right boot, as both teams managed a try each in tough conditions which saw the rain bucketing down for most of the match.
The Stormers led 6-3 at the break, thanks to two Pietersen penalties, with the Kings relying on the boot of flyhalf George Whitehead, who started the game in place of the injured Demetri Catrakilis.
Pietersen was at it again in the second half, booting penalties in the 48th and 58th minutes as Whitehead weighed in with one for the Kings.
At 12-6 the game was by no means safe, but the Stormers took a step closer to sealing the win with a crucial try – from a rolling maul – by flanker Deon Fourie in the 65th minute. It was vintage stuff; a perfect line-out win followed by a drive to the goalline and Fourie – who battled hard all night for his team – was credited with the five-pointer. It was just reward for the official Vodacom Super Rugby Man of the Match.
Pietersen landed the tough conversion from far out – albeit with the help of the right-hand upright – and suddenly the home side led 19-6.
To their credit, the Kings did not back down in light of the 13-point deficit and they managed a late unconverted try by flanker Wimpie van der Walt.
That made the score 19-11, despite some late pressure from the Kings, which saw the game end in the Stormers 22 in front of a loyal DHL Newlands crowd of 10,451.
“We will definitely take the win and the four points,” said Stormers coach Allister Coetzee afterwards.
“It was one of those banana-skin games – it could’ve gone either way. Credit to the players for pulling it off. We said the set-piece would be important and I thought we scrummed well tonight and our line-out work was pleasing in the conditions.”
* CLICK HERE for video highlights of this match (thanks to SuperSport).
For the DHL Stormers:
Pens: Pietersen 4
For the Southern Kings:
Try: Van der Walt
Pens: Whitehead 2
DHL Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Deon Fourie, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Gerbrandt Grobler, 19 Don Armand, 20 Dewaldt Duvenage, 21 Gary van Aswegen, 22 Gerhard van den Heever.
Southern Kings: 15 SP Marais, 14 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Andries Strauss (captain), 11 Marcello Sampson, 10 George Whitehead, 9 Nicolas Vergallo, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Wimpie van der Walt, 6 Cornell du Preez, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Darron Nell, 3 Kevin Buys, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Hannes Franklin, 17 Grant Kemp, 18 Rynier Bernado, 19 Devin Oosthuizen, 20 Shaun Venter, 21 Shane Gates, 22 Daniel Adongo.
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)