The DHL Stormers showed plenty of guts and commitment as they claimed an important 22-15 Vodacom Super Rugby win over the Sharks in Cape Town on Saturday.
Fullback Joe Pietersen kicked 17 of his team’s 22 points, their sole five-pointer coming from centre Juan de Jongh in his 50th game for the DHL Stormers.
Pietersen not only converted De Jongh’s brilliant try – which came from a bit of Jean de Villiers magic – but he also booted five penalty goals to help his team to a crucial victory at a jam-packed DHL Newlands.
The Sharks had five Pat Lambie penalties to show for their efforts but they came unstuck against a passionate DHL Stormers side who tackled their hearts out and scrummed superbly; the front row and loose trio both standing out in a physical match, with No.7 flanker Michael Rhodes walking off with Man of the Match honours and deservedly so.
In fact, the hosts benefited from two scrum penalties, which Pietersen converted into points, and they will now head on their four-game tour of Australasia with some confidence after a tough start to their 2013 Super Rugby campaign.
Speaking at full-time, a happy DHL Stormers captain Jean de Villiers said: “It’s a much better feeling, as a victorious team.
“We said all week we’d do it for each other – we dedicate this win to Schalk Burger and Gerhard van den Heever on their birthdays and Andries Bekker for his 100th game (last week) and Juan de Jongh’s 50th today.
“This is Super Rugby, it’s tough every single week and we’re very happy with the win,” added De Villiers. “It’s good to get a win for our fans too – I’d like to thank them a lot for all their support ahead of our tour.”
The Stormers have a bye next weekend and will face the Hurricanes, Blues, Waratahs and Rebels on their upcoming Super Rugby tour.
For the DHL Stormers:
Try: De Jongh
Pens: Pietersen 5
For the Sharks:
Pens: Lambie 5
DHL Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Damian de Allende, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Gio Aplon, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 De Kock Steenkamp, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Gerbrandt Grobler, 19 Nizaam Carr, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Cheslin Kolbe.
Sharks: 15 Francois Steyn, 14 Sean Robinson, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Keegan Daniel (captain), 7 Ryan Kankowski, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Anton Bresler, 19 Tera Mtembu, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Riaan Viljoen, 22 Odwa Ndungane.
Referee: Craig Joubert