The Vodacom Stormers on Saturday had way too much class for a game Boland in their final warm-up match for the Vodacom Super 14 and won the game 64-27.
The Stormers led 31-10 at halftime in a game that was played in scorching heat at Faure Street Stadium in Paarl. The win was as convincing as coach Kobus van der Merwe could have hoped for.
Before the game Boland had a lot to say about war in Paarl, but that war never materialized as the Stormers, with stars like Conrad Jantjes, Luke Watson, Gio Aplon, Bolla Conradie and Schalk Burger showing promising early season form, blew them out of the water.
Positives for Van der Merwe would have been the form of these players, but also the display at flyhalf by Brent Russell in the curtain-raiser. Big Joe van Niekerk, who helped himself to four tries in the two games, also seems to be well on his way back.
Schalk Brits had a good game at hooker after missing the latter part of the Currie Cup last year due to a knee injury. He showed he hasn’t lost any of his attacking flair and scored a beautiful try.
It was a highly entertaining game and both teams threw the ball around at every opportunity. The Stormers showed good attacking skills and at times had the defence at sixes and sevens with their passing skills and running angles.
They scored eight tries to the three of the Boland side, who never really threatened to achieve a shock result, although they drew first blood thanks to a Nel Fourie penalty.
In the 8th minute flank Schalk Burger, menacing on attack and defence, scored the first try for the winning side after they applied immense pressure on the home team. Boland had no answer for the powerful driving play of the Stormers and Burger was the man to emerge with the ball.
Captain Luke Watson had to spend ten minutes in the sin bin for punching Boland wing Alshaun Bock, but that didn’t putt the Stormers off their stride.
The Vodacom Stormers kick off their Vodacom Super 14 campaign with a match against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on 3 February.
Vodacom Stormers – Tries: Breyton Paulse, Conrad Jantjes, Naas Olivier (2), Schalk Brits, Schalk Burger, Joe van Niekerk (2). Conversions: Naas Olivier (6), Gio Aplon (2). Penalty: Naas Olivier (1).
Boland – Tries: John Daniels (2), Henley du Plessis, Pieter Wium. Conversions: Nel Fourie (1), Jacuqes Schutte. Penalty: Nel Fourie (1).