Stormers down Kings
Port Elizabeth - The Stormers showed deadly finishing touches, defeating the Southern Kings 38-13 in a pre-season friendly at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium here on Saturday.
After a tightly contested first half, with the Stormers slightly ahead at 12-10, the Cape side took control.
Number eight Nick Koster and centre Jean de Villiers both dotted down within 15 minutes after the break as the visitors stretched the gap to 24-10.
The Kings were constantly on defence with the Stormers' accurate recycling of the ball keeping their opponents on the back foot.
First Koster burst through when the Kings defence simply ran out of numbers with fullback Joe Pietersen adding the conversion.
Ten minutes later, Pietersen provided the final pass for De Villiers to cross over untouched.
The Kings, by then, had lost Zane Killian to a yellow card as the Stormers forwards worked well together in driving for the line, resulting in referee Lourens van der Merwe heavily penalising the Kings in the mauls.
Scrumhalf Falie Oelschig kicked a fine penalty from near the touchline to narrow the gap, but soon afterwards the Kings made a hash of a lineout.
It resulted in Bryan Habana, playing at inside centre, bursting through a gap to set up Pietersen for a try which the fullback converted to put the Stormers well up at 31-13.
While the hosts had occasional moments when they threatened the Stormers, the Kings were forced to make numerous tackles to keep the visitors at bay.
It again proved too much for the home side when replacement flyhalf Burton Francis crossed for the final try of the match, which Pietersen again converted.
Not surprisingly, the game ended with the Stormers on attack, as they came close to scoring again but Gio Aplon lost the ball as he made a dart for the line after the hooter had gone.
Aplon had dotted down the first try of the match when he outstripped the Kings defence after a kick ahead in the fourth minute.
Flyhalf Gary van Aswegen added the conversion to make it 7-0.
The Kings, however, hit back in thrilling fashion in the 19th minute when they outwitted the Stormers defence for Norman Nelson to break through for a try next to the posts with Oelschig adding the conversion.
The Stormers recovered well and showed their intent, taking the option of kicking for the touchline rather than posts and this paid dividends when flank Siya Kolisi scored after breaking off a driving maul.
The Kings kept up with a penalty by Oelschig and could have taken the lead into half-time had they kicked for posts again in the dying seconds of the opening period.
Oelschig spotted a gap and tried to burst through, only for his efforts to be snuffed out by some scrambling Stormers defence.
While there was little in it in the first half, the constant tackling took its toll on the Kings with the Stormers reaping the benefits of their attacking policy.
Tries: Joe Pietersen, Jean de Villiers, Gio Aplon, Nick Koster, Siya Kolis, Burton Francis.
Conversions: Gary van Aswegen, Pietersen (3)
Try: Norman Nelson.
Conversion: Falie Oelschig.
Penalties: Oelschig (2)
Kings: 15 Tiger Mangweni, 14 Marcello Sampson, 13 Jaco Bekker, 12 Wayne Stevens, 11 Norman Nelson, 10 Shane Gates, 9 Falie Oelschig, 8 Vleis Engelbrecht, 7 Boetie Britz, 6 Mpho Mbiyozo, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Darron Nell (captain), 3 Clint Newland, 2 Hannes Franklin, 1 Jaco Engels.
Substitutes: 16 Bobby Dyer, 17 Zane Killian, 18 Andre Schlechter, 19 Wayne van Heerden, 20 Reynier Bernardo, 21 Thembelani Bholi, 22 Dustin Jinka, 23 Earl Rose, 24 Dwayne Jenner, 25 Kieran Goss.
Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Bryan Habana, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Gerhard van den Heever, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nick Koster, 7 Duane Vermeulen, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Rynhard Elstadt, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Substitutes: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Deon Carstens, 18 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 19 Frans Malherbe, 20 Eben Etzebeth, 21 De Kock Steenkamp, 22 Nizaam Carr, 23 Nic Groom, 24 Marcel Brache, 25 Burton Francis, 26 Danie Poolman.