Some 40 000 spectators came to witness the first-ever rugby match at the spectacular new Cape Town Stadium on Saturday. And even though the match, between the Vodacom Stormers and a Boland Invitational XV, didn’t really reach great heights the crowd didn’t leave disappointed.
The Stormers won 47-13 after leading 18-13 at halftime. Coach Allister Coetzee will be happy with the result, but will be worried about the fact that his captain, Schalk Burger, left the field in the first half with what looked like a shoulder injury.
The fiery captain is a key player in the Stormers Vodacom Super 14 campaign, which kicks off with a game against the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday. Centre Paul Bosch also left the field with what looked like a broken arm and he is not likely to feature in the Super 14.
On Saturday Boland, who were relegated to the Absa Currie Cup first division last season, put up a brave fight. They impressed with their never-say-die attitude and at time proved a handful for the defence.
The Stormers had the big name players though and were able to change to higher gear when needed. They started off slowly in the second half, but found their rhythm later to eventually win comfortably.
Stormers hooker Deon Fourie ensured his name would feature in the history books by scoring the first try ever in the new stadium after 3 minutes and 35 seconds of play.
Fourie had to work hard for that honour. He exhibited great pace and power on a barn-storming run of about 30m next to the left-hand side touchline. The try came as a result of some slick handling from a few backs and forwards, an injection of pace from captain Schalk Burger and a deft final pass from fullback Fabian Juries.
Willem de Waal failed with the conversion, to give Boland flyhalf Dean Grant the opportunity to score the first ever penalty goal in the stadium in the 8th minute. The Stormers flyhalf stretched his team lead in the 16th min. by slotting a penalty though (8-3).
The Stormers scored their second try in the 21st minute. It was a well-worked try from a set scrum, with Ricky Januarie receiving the ball behind the dummy runner from No 8 Pieter Louw.
Left wing Dylan des Fountain cut into the line at the perfect angle and was unstoppable to score under the poles. De Waal added two to make the score 15-3.
Boland immediately hit back via another Grant penalty.
Boland showed a lot of fighting spirit and got their first try in the 30th minute when lock Johan Peacock caught the ball at the tail of a lineout 5 m from the Stormers try-line to fall over. The try came as a result of some good attacking rugby by Boland.
Grant converted to put his side in reach of the Super 14 franchise at 15-13, but two minutes later De Waal was on target to make the score 18-13.
Shortly after Bosch left the field in the 51st min. the Stormers scored a try through outside centre Frikkie Welsh.
Wing Sereli Naqelevuki scored in the 61st min. after a clever cross kick from replacement flyhalf Lionel Cronjé. Ricky Januarie celebrated his return to the Stormers by scoring in the 65th min.
Vodacom Stormers – Tries: Deon Fourie, Dylan des Fountain (2), Frikkie Welsh, Sireli Naqelevuki, Ricky Januarie, Bolla Conradie; Conversions: Willem de Waal, Lionel Cronje (2); Penalties: De Waal (2)
Boland: Try – Johan Peacock, Conversion: Dean Grant; Penalties: Dean Grant (2).