Stormers outmuscle Sharks in bruising Kings Park battle
Durban - The Stormers have defeated the Sharks in their South Africa Super Rugby derby at Kings Park.
As it happened: Sharks v Stormers
The Stormers won 16-11, after leading 13-3 at half-time.
It was the second consecutive South African derby win for the Stormers, as they handed the KwaZulu-Natal side their first defeat of the season.
The teams scored a try apiece in slippery conditions, but the Stormers were never behind in a composed performance under pressure.
The Stormers started the game with real intent and got in the faces of the opposition early on which saw fullback Damian Willemse rush up and claim an intercept to go in for what would be the only try of the first half.
The Sharks responded with a penalty from flyhalf Robert du Preez, but those would be their only points before half-time as the Stormers took control.
Some clever kicking and use of the blindside saw the Stormers launch three attacking drives in the opposition 22. The end result was a yellow card for Sharks centre Lukhanyo Am, after his team had strayed offsides one time too many.
The Stormers kept the pressure on and were playing all of their rugby in Sharks territory, but SP Marais missed two shots at goal before slotting his third and fourth attempts.
The home side were down to 14 men again just before half-time, with hooker Akker van der Merwe shown a yellow card as the Stormers took a 13-3 advantage into the break.
The Sharks struck first in the second half with a try from Am out wide and the Stormers were struck a further blow soon afterwards when centre Dan du Plessis was shown a yellow card for a high tackle.
A second penalty from Du Preez reduced the Stormers' lead to 13-11, leaving the match finely poised with 30 minutes left to play.
With Du Plessis back on the pitch the Stormers showed good patience and discipline on attack as they played the game in opposition territory, with the reward eventually coming via another Marais penalty.
With the pressure on in the final stages, the Stormers showed great composure to close the game out and claim the win.
In next weekend's action, the Sharks travel to Pretoria to tackle the Bulls (March 9 - 17:15), while the Sharks have a bye.
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Try: Lukhanyo Am
Penalties: Robert du Preez (2)
Try: Damian Willsem
Conversion: SP Marais
Penalties: Marais (3)
15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Hyron Andrews, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Phepsi Buthelezi, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Rhyno Smith
15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 SP Marais, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Jaco Coetzee, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ali Vermaak
Substitutes: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Juarno Augustus, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Ruhan Nel, 23 Dillyn Leyds