The DHL Stormers play their first-ever competitive match in Stellenbosch today as they take on Italian side Zebre Parma in a Vodacom United Rugby Championship encounter at Danie Craven Stadium.
This is also the DHL Stormers’ first home match against European opposition, so it is a historic occasion for more than one reason.
Damian Willemse celebrates his 50th cap today and will run out in front of the team when they take the field.
The weather has cleared nicely in Stellenbosch, there was some rain earlier, but the sun has come out and it is dry ahead of kick-off.
0 – DHL Stormers make a blistering start and score early. Classic counter-attack from the DHL Stormers with Evan Roos breaking the line and putting Manie Libbok over for the try.
6 – DHL Stormers on the charge in Stellenbosch and it is the man of the moment Damian Willemse who glides through a gap to go over for the second try to make it 14-0.
10 – Warrick Gelant with the cross-kick and he finds Ruhan Nel who gets the pass away to Leolin Zas who races over for the third try. DHL Stormers on the rampage.
15 – DHL Stormers dominating territory and possession. Showing their dominance in the scrums and line-outs too.
20 – Zebre Parma getting their hands on the ball, but it is all in their own half. DHL Stormers defence holding up well.
23 – Loose ball snapped up by Seabelo Senatla on halfway and they won’t catch him. That’s the bonus point in the bag as the DHL Stormers put the hammer down.
26 – DHL Stormers on the attack again in the 22 and pressing, but a breakdown penalty means Zebre can clear.
30 – Zebre make a break down the wing and the chip ahead is good, but it is fumbled in the 22. DHL Stormers exit well from the scrum.
33 – DHL Stormers running from their own half and finding some space out wide, but the ball is turned over in the 22.
38 – That’s enough from the backline for now, forwards get in on the act with a maul try from Scarra Ntubeni just before half-time to make it 33-0.
40 – The DHL Stormers have put on a clinic of attacking rugby in the first half here at Danie Craven Stadium. Five unanswered tries to take a 33-0 lead into the break.
42 – Zebre with an early penalty and they kick to the corner as they look for their first try. Held up so they kick to the corner again.
44 – The visitors start the second half with their first try as centre Erich Cronje dives on a grubber to score and make it 33-7.
47 – Breakdown penalty on halfway and they kick to the corner. Andre-Hugo Venter held up in the tackle so Zebre have a scrum in their 22.
50 – Zebre win a penalty just short of halfway, so they continue into DHL Stormers territory. DHL Stormers force a knock-on so they will have a scrum.
53 – Clearance from Jantjies and Zebre knock-on at the line-out, so we have another scrum.
58 – Incredible skill from Seabelo Senatla who finds some space on the outside, chips ahead and chases it down to score and make it 38-7.
62 – That’s a double for both wings now as Leolin Zas finishes in the corner this time. DHL Stormers not taking their foot off the gas and that makes it 43-7.
65 – DHL Stormers keeping the pressure on in Zebre territory. Charge-down lands in-goal so the visitors can clear it.
70 – Knock-on from Zebre and DHL Stormers win a scrum penalty so they kick into the corner.
73 – DHL Stormers running phases as they move into the 22. Poomela makes good ground and gets a pass away to Zas. Just short and it is spoiled by Zebre. Asaeli Tuivuaka shown a red card for a swinging arm so Zebre down to 14.
75 – A second maul try for Scarra Ntubeni takes the DHL Stormers just short of the half-century.
79 – There is time for one more from Senatla. That’s his hat-trick and seals a 55-7 win.