The Stormers have totally overturned the form book, recording a fine 35-8 win over the Jaguares at Newlands on Friday evening.
Robbie Fleck’s charges recovered from conceding an early try by repelling a more adventurous opponent, who were again undone by their mistakes, as well making sure they capitalised on most of the scoring opportunities they were afforded.
It was, much like the Bulls, the type of rugby national coach Rassie Erasmus will be encouraged by in a World Cup year.
Who was the star in this match?
The two sides’ locks, JD Schickerling and Guido Petti, were muscular and hardworking, with Petti in particular proving a fine attacking presence. But it was Stormers and Springbok captain Siya Kolisi who showed his class against international-quality opponents. He was typically robust on defence, but also did his part in the collisions and showed some delightful small touches on attack. He was rewarded with a try too.
Key moments and themes
- This match was yet another illustration that having possession and territory means very little if it doesn’t translate into points. The Jaguares were the more enterprising side by far, particularly trying to speed up the game on the counterattack. But their handling and attacking organisation let them down badly.
- That poor handling led directly to the Stormers’ first try, when flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis launched a speculative, perhaps even meaningless chip ahead. Somehow visiting winger Bautista Delguy managed to botch his catch, allowing centre Dan du Plessis to dive over. It turned out to be huge boost for the Stormers, who recovered from the early blow of Delguy’s well-worked opening score.
- The Stormers’ lineout woes seemed to continue initially when they lost two early throws, but recovered well and eventually laid a good platform for the limited times they did actually get into good attacking positions.
- The Jaguares will rue a golden missed opportunity when tighthead Santiago Mendrano knocked on in the process of going over the line from a maul. It would’ve been an immediate response to the Stormers’ second try and would’ve kept them in the game. Instead, home scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies rubbed salt in the wounds with a predatory, smart finish from set-piece.
Stormers – Tries: Dan du Plessis, Siya Kolisi, Herschel Jantjies, Justin Phillips. Conversions: SP Marais (2), Jean-Luc du Plessis. Penalties: Marais (3).
Jaguares – Try: Bautista Delguy. Penalty: Joaquin Diaz Bonilla.