The Vodacom Stormers opened their Super 14 account with a well thought out display of rugby to outwit the Cats 23-12 at Ellis Park on Saturday.
Playing on a greasy turf after a day of persistent rain in Johannesburg, the Cape Town based Stormers cleverly opted to play running rugby rather than to take the cautious approach applied by the Cats.
It was through the Cats error-riddled game that the Stormers built a platform for this morale boosting victory.
Both the Stormers tries came through forced errors by the Cats with Vodacom Stormers scrumhalf Bolla Conradie’s try coming after Cats winger Jorrie Muller failed to collect a high ball.
The second Stormers try came from a well anticipated interception from Jean de Villiers after Cats flyhalf Tiaan Snyman threw a misdirected skip pass.
It was the Cats failure to spread the ball wide and play industrious rugby that saw them give the Stormers the upper hand in the game.
The Cats appeared to be half-hearted, and this allowed the Stormers to build on their momentum from Conradie’s and De Villiers’ tries.
It was in the sixth minute that the Cats enjoyed some sort of ascendancy in the game when Snyman slotted over a penalty.
However it was the last time that the Cats would get their noses in front as the Stormers stood up to them, especially in the engine room.
Such was the incompetence of the Cats to adapt to the match situation that their confidence was dented further when they conceded a try with a one man advantage after Stormers captain De Wet Barry had been given a yellow card for a head butt.
Down 17-6 at the halftime interval that Cats tried to claw their way back into contention through Snyman’s reliable boot, with Snyman successful with three consecutive penalties bringing his side within seven points of the Stormers at 12-20.
However at the other end, the Vodacom Stormers did not let go of their grip on proceedings and it was flyhalf Peter Grant who ensured that the Stormers’ lead was safe.
Grant’s final successful penalty to give the Stormers a comfortable 23-12 lead proved too much for the Cats who spent the last ten minutes of the game going through the motions.
Cats: Penalties: Tiaan Snyman (4).
Vodacom Stormers: Tries: Bolla Conradie, Jean de Villiers. Conversions: Peter Grant (2). Penalties: Peter Grant (3).