Stormers outclass Rebels in Melbourne
Melbourne - The Stormers scored seven tries on their way to a bonus-point 57-31 victory against the Rebels in Melbourne on Saturday.
It was a victory built on set-piece dominance, which saw the Stormers pull away from their hosts in the final stages to consolidate their position at the top of the Africa Conference One standings.
The Stormers started with real intent, and forced their way into the Rebels’ 22 from the start where they were awarded an early penalty, but the home side would score the first try when centre Sefa Naivalu went over from a set move to put them 7-3 up.
The visitors responded with another penalty from the boot of flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis, but the Rebels would go 14-6 ahead when scrumhalf Ben Meehan darted over in the corner after the Stormers deence had done well to hold the Rebels up in the tackle.
The Stormers struck next with Du Plessis collecting his own attacking kick, which was fumbled in the 22 by the Rebels, to go over for the try which he duly converted.
Du Plessis was able to put them ahead shortly afterwards following some massive pressure at scrum-time from the Stormers forwards, and they kept the pressure on with sustained pressure in Rebels territory which eventually saw prop Vincent Koch barge his way over for a try which put them 23-14 up.
The Rebels were being dominated in the set-pieces, but they would have the final say in the first half, with a penalty from flyhalf Jack Debreczeni cutting the Stormers lead to 23-17 at the half-time break.
After a tense start to the second half, which saw action at both ends, and it would be the Rebels to strike first as a try in the corner to Jonah Placid briefly gave the the lead before a Du Plessis penalty gave the Stormers a 26-24 advantage.
They followed up on that immediately after a great kick from Du Plessis put them on the Rebels tryline, where Eben Etzebeth stiole the line-out and forced his way over the line to put them 33-24 up.
However, the Rebels were able to level things up at 31-31 with a try from Debreczeni who finished under the poles.
Rebels replacement Scott Fuglistaller was shown a yellow card for collapsing a maul, and the resulting scrum saw Stormers scrumhalf Nic Groom go over for a try which gave them the lead back.
The Rebels defence was tiring and the Stormers took advantage as a great run from Sikhumbuzo Notshe put Damian de Allende over for their fifth try, which was followed up byan intercept try from Leolin Zas.
That gave the DHL Stormers a chance of taking the bonus point, and they did just that as a powerful maul after the hooter saw Scarra Ntubeni go over for the try which put the seal on a dominant performance in the end.
Tries: Sefa Naivalu, Ben Meehan, Jonah Placid, Jack
Conversions: Debreczeni (4)
Tries: Jean-Luc du Plessis, Vincent Koch, Eben Etzebeth, Nick
Groom, Damian de Allende, Leolin Zas, Scarra Ntubeni
Conversions: Jean-Luc du Plessis (5)
Penalties: Du Plessis (4)
15 Mike Harris, 14 Jonah Placid, 13 Sefa Naivalu, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Tom English, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Ben Meehan, 8 Colby Fainga’a 7 Sean McMahon (c) 6 Jordy Reid 5 Lopeti Timani 4 Luke Jones 3 Toby Smith 2 James Hanson 1 Cruze Ah Nau
Substitutes:16 Pat Leafa, 17 Tom Moloney, 18 Laurie Weeks, 19 Culum Retallick, 20 Adam Thomson, 21 Mick Snowden, 22 Mitch Inman, 23 Paul Asquith
15 Jaco Taute, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Daniel du Plessis, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oli Kebble
Substitutes: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Alistair Vermaak, 18 JP Smith, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Rynhardt Elstadt, 21 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 22 Louis Schreuder, 23 Scott van Breda