Rugby 19.5.2014 06:20 am

Stormers make light of Burger’s absence

Michael Rhodes and Duane Vermeulen of Western Province. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

Michael Rhodes and Duane Vermeulen of Western Province. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

Stand-in Stormers skipper Duane Vermeulen lauded his team’s performance after they outplayed play-off contenders the Force at Newlands on Saturday.

The Stormers managed to shut the Australian side out of the game from the start, converting their 17-3 half-time lead to a resounding 24-8 triumph.

“It was great for us to come away with a win, we really needed it,” said Vermeulen, who replaced Schalk Burger as captain when the skipper was ruled out on the eve of the game with a back injury.

“I think we had a great first half and we slightly took our foot off the pedal in the second, so we’re still searching for that 80-minute effort.”

Dominating territory and possession, the Stormers took a 10-0 lead in the first quarter after a penalty by centurion flyhalf Peter Grant and a well-worked try by centre Juan de Jongh.

Referee Chris Pollock then lost his patience with repeated transgressions by the Force and sent lock Adam Coleman to the bin four minutes before the break.

It resulted in a penalty try three minutes later, while Stormers lock Ruan Botha scored his first Super Rugby try seven minutes after the break to set up a commanding 24-3 lead.

Yellow cards to Stormers wing Cheslin Kolbe and fullback Jaco Taute created the chance for Force skipper Matt Hodgson to score their only try 10 minutes from time.

“The Stormers came out firing and defended very well and got momentum,” Hodgson said.

“I think our line speed was lacking at times while we struggled in the set-pieces. It’s been a problem for the last few weeks and we really have to look into it,” lamented the veteran flank.

The Stormers, who next host the Cheetahs, lifted themselves from the bottom with their fourth win of the competition.

 

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