The Vodacom Stormers XV beat a Boland XV 38-24 in the curtain-raiser for the warm-up game between the senior teams at Faure Street Stadium in Paarl on Saturday.
The Boland side was competitive for the first ten minutes or so of the game, but wilted in the Paarl heat in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 10 000 people.
It was the team from the Winelands who took the early lead when scrumhalf Tewis de Bruyn raced through for a well-worked try after excellent play by wing Jonghi Nokwe and hooker Frankie Horne. Flyhalf Ossie Damons converted to make the score 10-0 after only two minutes of play.
Boland again applied pressure from the restart and it was only scrambling defence that prevented them from scoring. They, however, received a penalty and Damons extended the lead to 10-0.
The Stormers XV slowly but surely found their feet and begin to ask more questions of the home side’s defence.
In the 18th minute flyhalf Brent Russell produced some magic. He attacked the advantage line and held his arms above the tackle to feed outside centre Dyland des Fountain, who sent No 8 Joe van Niekerk over for a try. Russell converted.
Three minutes later scrumhalf Ashieq Wise scored after dribbling the ball ahead and collecting it. Russell again was spot-on with the conversion.
The Stormers XV then showed too much class for the valiant Boland team. The game was littered with pre-season errors and never really reached any great heights. The Stormers brains trust, however, would be satisfied with the effort put in by Van Niekerk and Russell, who showed with some more game time he could become a force at flyhalf.
Van Niekerk was not as prominent as he would have loved to be in the 50 minutes he was on the field, but he did some good things and with a few more games could regain the form that he made him such a force at Test level.
Vodacom Stormers – Tries: Joe van Niekerk (2), Dyland des Fountain, Peter Grant, Ashieq Wise, Terry Jacobs. Conversions: Brent Russell (4).
Boland XV – Tries: Tewis de Bruyn, Duimpie Theron, Quinton Davids. Conversions: Ossie Damons (1), Therlow Pietersen (2). Penalty: Ossie Damon.