Stormers rout hapless Cheetahs in 53-10 mauling

Stormers rout hapless Cheetahs in 53-10 mauling

The Stormers ran in eight tries to one en route to an emphatic 53-10 bonus-point rout against the Cheetahs in their Super Rugby clash at Newlands on Saturday afternoon.

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Just over 20 000 spectators, perhaps the smallest crowd yet to watch a Super Rugby derby at Newlands, were treated to a nine-try feast as the Stormers produced a stout performance on defence and a glut of variations on attack.

The first of the nine tries was only scored in the 15th minute by which time the Stormers battled to lay their hands on the ball. During this phase, the Cheetahs looked closer to scoring after they were thwarted virtually under the Stormers’ posts in the second minute.

During this passage of play, the Stormers managed a few sorties into the Cheetahs’ half but could not make headway against the visitors’ defence. However, substitute scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage who joined the fray following the 14th-minute departure of the injured Jano Vermaak (he took a knock to the head) provided the spark with a break down the left channel where Dillyn Leyds finished well by diving in low at the corner flag.

Stormers’ No 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe (22nd minute) and Leyds (37th) crowned some fine interplay for two more tries as the Cheetahs’ defence sprung leaks ahead of halftime. Flyhalf Robert du Preez was on target with two conversions and a penalty to account for the Stormers’ 22-point first-half haul.

Cheetahs flyhalf Fred Zeilinga struck a penalty in the 21st minute, and as it turned was his side’s only first-half points (22-3).

Straight after the resumption, centre Daniel du Plessis scored a try in the opening minute to ignite the second-half rout which saw the Stormers score a try every six minutes. By this time, the Cheetahs were reduced to a hapless outfit and Stormers came to light with a few silky handling skills which helped pass the 50-point mark.

A highlight of the second half was a thrilling chase down by Stormers rightwing Cheslin Kolbe. Cheetahs No 8 Henco Venter ran all of some 35 metres clear and looked certain to score but Kolbe upended him 5m short of the line. There was time for Venter to regather and dot down but in the process, he spilt the ball and cost his team a certain try in the 75th minute.

The result meant that the Stormers remain unbeaten after five outings this season.

Scorers: Stormers 53 (22): Tries: Dillyn Leyds (2), Sikhumbuzo Notshe (3), Dan du Plessis, Dan du Preez and Siya Kolisi. Conversions: Du Preez (4), Kurt Coleman. Penalty: Du Preez

Cheetahs 10 (3): Try: Paul Schoeman. Conversion: Fred Zeilinga. Penalty: Zeilinga

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