Lock Andries Bekker and hooker Tiaan Liebenberg scored tries and helped set up several others as the Vodacom Stormers beat the Waikato Chiefs 49-15 on Friday to solidify their place in the top four of rugby’s Vodacom Super 14.
The team from the Cape led 20-10 at halftime, but in the second half they slotted into a higher gear.
Liebenberg scored the third and Bekker the fifth of the Stormers’ six tries as the South African side overwhelmed last year’s finalists to move into first place with a 7-2 record and 33 points.
Springboks winger Bryan Habana, with help from Bekker and Liebenberg, scored what may have been the try of the season in the 22nd minute when the ball passed through more than a dozen pairs of hands.
The try-scoring movement began with fullback Gio Aplon and spread across the field as center Jaque Fourie handled twice and Bekker and Liebenberg were involved before Habana scored near the left-hand corner.
Bekker also played a part in Liebenberg’s try in the 44th minute, then scored himself in the 62nd minute.
“I’m really proud of the boys,” Vodacom Stormers captain Schalk Burger said. “It’s really hard in this competition to go back to back so it’s really good to do it tonight.”
The Stormers have beaten the Auckland Blues and the Chiefs in successive matches in New Zealand and next face the Queensland Reds in Brisbane before returning to South Africa for the last three rounds of the season.
The Stormers took a 27-10 lead which increased with later tries to Sireli Naqelevuki, Bekker and replacement hooker Deon Fourie. Fullback Tim Nanai-Williams scored a late try for the Chiefs.
Stormers flyhalf Peter Grant kicked eight out of 10 attempts for 19 points, building on last week’s performance when he kicked seven goals from seven attempts.
Vodacom Stormers 49 – Tries: Bryan Habana, Duane Vermeulen, Tiaan Liebenberg, Sireli Naqelevuki, Andries Bekker, Deon Fourie; Conversions: Peter Grant (5); Penalties: Grant (3).
Chiefs 15 – Tries: Tanerau Latimer, Tim Nanai-Williams; Conversion: Stephen Donald; Penalty: Stephen Donald.