Cape Town - The Stormers again showed the composure needed to close out a match on a winning note when they defeated the Sharks 29-13 in an all-South African Super Rugby derby at Newlands on Saturday evening.
As it happened: Stormers 29 - 13 Sharks
There were times when the Sharks bossed the Stormers at set-piece and turnover time but the Stormers made the most of the scoring chances which came their way. Flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis was in splendid form with the boot, scoring 14 points for his side.
Errors crept into the Sharks' game when it looked like they could crack the opposition defence.
At 19-13 in favour of the Stormers, and with 15 minutes of play left, the match was still precariously balanced but referee Jaco Peyper strangely awarded the Stormers a penalty-try which substitute flyhalf Kurt Coleman converted (26-13).
This call by the referee finally sounded the death knell for the visitors.
An opening moment of enterprising play by the Sharks' backline players caught the Stormers' defence napping and had it not been for a wayward forward pass when the try line was at their mercy, the KZN visitors would have been on the scoreboard inside 60 seconds.
Flyhalf Pat Lambie came good with a third-minute penalty to give the Sharks a 3-0 lead.
The Stormers were slow out of the blocks after surrendering a line-out ball as well as a turnover but they started hitting their straps in the 10th minute onwards. They made several strong ball-in-hand runs into the Sharks' half and one of those looked set to pay off but Stormers centre Juan de Jongh spilt a line-breaking off-load.
The Stormers made the breakthrough after they launched a telling counter-attack from their own 22-metre line in the 18th minute. Moments later, an up-and-under from Catrakilis was brilliantly collected by his teammate right wing Johnny Kotze, who ran in from 40 metres out to dot down under the posts. Catrakilis goaled the conversion (7-3).
The Sharks shrugged off the setback with several attacking sorties and were held up on the try line on one occasion.
After Stormers scrumhalf Nic Groom was yellow-carded, Lambie forced his way over from about 10 metres, and his conversion allowed the Sharks to regain the lead (10-7).
As the match approached the halfway mark, the Stormers looked a lot more buoyant and they produced several threatening runs but it was the Catrakilis boot which made the difference with two penalties for a 13-10 lead by the time the teams changed ends.
The Stormers started where they left off when play resumed and took play into the Sharks' 22m area where they won two penalties in the space of eight minutes. Catrakilis converted both to open up a 19-10 lead for the Stormers in the 49th minute.
Lock Eben Etzebeth was substituted when it appeared he had taken a knock to the shoulder.
Three minutes later there was a mighty roar when Newlands' favourite son Schalk Burger came off the bench to replace Siya Kolisi.
Lambie reduced the deficit with a 73rd minute penalty (19-13) before the referee awarded the Stormers a penalty-try.
There was more grief for the Sharks when their centre Frans Steyn was yellow-carded seven minutes from the end, and Coleman goaled the resultant penalty to round off the scoring in the match 29-13.
15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 Alistair Vermaak, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Huw Jones
15. SP Marais, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. JP Pietersen, 12. Frans Steyn, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Patrick Lambie, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Willem Alberts, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4. Lubabalo Mtyanda, 3. Matt Stevens, 2. Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1. Thomas du Toit
Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Dale Chadwick, 18. Lourens Adriaanse, 19. Marco Wentzel, 20. Renaldo Bothma, 21. Conrad Hoffmann, 22. Andre Esterhuizen, 23. Jack Wilson