Stormers hold off Cheetahs
Deon Fourie (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Stormers needed a strong rearguard action to hold on for a 16-14 triumph over the Cheetahs in an all-South African Super Rugby match at Newlands on Saturday.
The first half was one-way traffic with the Stormers cruising into a 16-0 lead at the break.
Flyhalf Peter Grant kicked three penalties in the first 16 minutes as the Cheetahs repeatedly infringed.
Lock Eben Etzebeth also muscled his way through three defenders to score the Stormers only try in the 24th minute, with Grant converting.
The Cheetahs, though, were a different team in the second half and a series of top-class drives by their forwards took them deep into the opposition 22 where a slick pass by wing Willie le Roux allowed fullback Hennie Daniller to score in the corner.
Replacement flyhalf Riaan Smit kicked a fine conversion from the touchline to close the gap to 16-7.
Stormers flank Rynardt Elstadt then received a yellow card for kneeing Cheetahs wing Cameron Jacobs in the head, an incident that sparked a mass brawl.
The Cheetahs grabbed their second try when Le Roux intercepted the ball following a ruck and sprinted 90 metres for a spectacular try.
Smit booted the conversion but the Stormers hung on for a victory that kept them one point behind the Bulls at the top of the South African Conference.
The Cheetahs picked up a single point for losing by seven or fewer points, but remained fourth in the South African Conference. They did however move to ninth in the Overall log.
In next weekend's Round 13 action, the Stormers host the Waratahs at Newlands, while the Cheetahs welcome the Sharks to Bloemfontein.
15. Joe Pietersen, 14. Gio Aplon, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Jean De Villiers (captain), 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Peter Grant, 9. Dewaldt Duvenage, 8. Nizaam Carr, 7. Rynhardt Elstadt, 6. Siya Kolisi, 5. Andries Bekker, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Brok Harris, 2. Deon Fourie, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16. Tiaan Liebenberg, 17. Frans Malherbe, 18. De Kock Steenkamp, 19. Jebb Sinclair, 20. Louis Schreuder, 21. Burton Francis, 22. Gerhard van den Heever
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Cameron Jacobs, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Justin Downey, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 George Earle, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen
Substitutes: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Andries Ferreira, 19 Ashley Johnson, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Riaan Smit, 22 Philip Snyman