Stormers In A Smash And Grab Win In Mbombela

Photo Credit: Gallo Images

The Phakisa Pumas and the DHL Stormers kicked off the third round of Vodacom Super Rugby Unlocked action at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on today. The Stormers pulled of a smash and grab win with 42-37 after they were behind 20-7 at halftime with the injury to Pumas' flyhalf the turning point.

The Pumas were first to put points in the scoreboard, however, the Stormers reply were immediate after a mistake by the Pumas in their red zone the Stormers to the lead with 7-3 and only three minutes gone on the stadium clock. The Pumas then returned the favour after an error by the Stormers in their own 22 and regained the lead by 10-7 four minutes later.

A second try from the Pumas gave them a 17-7. A further penalty gave the Pumas a 20-7 lead after the first quarter. At that stage, it was all Pumas who control the momentum and speed of the game and not scared to put their bodies on the line.

The injury of the Pumas' flyhalf Eddie Fouche with 13 minutes to go in the first half did affect the rhythm with which the Pumas played most of the first half. Despite that, the Pumas still managed to end the first half with a lead of 30-14.

The Pumas spent the last ten minutes in their twenty-two defending for their lives as the Stormers used the bigger forwards to strangle the life from the Pumas team.

Not even a yellow card against the Pumas star Jeandré Rudolph could stop the wave after wave attacks from the Pumas. The Pumas fourth try gave them a 37-14 lead with the host of replacements by the Stormers not making any impression on the Pumas.

With 20 minutes to go the Stormers needed to score at least four times to win the game. Two tries by the Stormers narrowed the lead of the Pumas to 37-28 and nine minutes left of the game to score twice.

The Stormers fifth try left them to score three points to win the match with six minutes to go, which they did with one minute to go and a try to seal the win with 42-37.

The Stormers stole the game for the second time in the Super Rugby Unlocked with yet another brilliant second half.

DHL Stormers: Tries: Rikus Pretorius, Herschel Jantjies, Neethling Fouche, Bongi Mbonambi, Leolin Zas, Warrick Gelant. Conversions: Tim Swiel (6).
Phakisa Pumas: Tries: Neil Maritz (2), Jeandré Rudolph, Wayne vd Bank. Conversions: Eddie Fouche (2), Neil Marais (2). Penalties: Eddie Fouche (3).

Phakisa Pumas: 15 Devon Williams, 14 Neil Maritz, 13 Erich Cronje, 12 Wayne van der Bank, 11 Etienne Taljaard, 10 Eddie Fouche, 9 Ginter Smuts, 8 Jeandré Rudolph, 7 Willie Engelbrecht, 6 Francois Kleinhans, 5 Pieter Jansen van Vuren (captain), 4 Darrien Landsburg, 3 Ruan Kramer, 2 AJ le Roux, 1 Morgan Naude. Replacements: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 Liam Hendricks, 18 Heath Backhouse, 19 Phumzile Maqondwana, 20 Dian Badenhorst, 21 Neil Marais, 22 Ali Mgijima, 23 Ignatius Prinsloo.

DHL Stormers: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Edwill van der Merwe, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Leon Lyons. Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Nama Xaba, 21 Jaco Coetzee, 22 Godlen Masimla, 23 Eksteen.