Deon Fourie scored two tries as the Stormers beat the Kings 24-12 in Port Elizabeth, reports GARETH DUNCAN.
South African derbies are the most physical games in Super Rugby and this match was a great example of a battle of attrition.
Both sides struggled to build momentum with ball in hand, forcing them to fight for dominance through their forwards. Both impressed on defence, but the Stormers adapted best and capitalised through their set pieces, with Fourie going over from strong driving mauls. Elton Jantjies added a conversion and three penalties, while Joe Pietersen contributed a penalty goal.
The Kings kept in touch through the boot of Demetri Catrakilis, but they could not find any advantage elsewhere and finished the match without a try.
Catrakilis built an early lead with two penalties, but Jantjies and Pietersen levelled the scores. The Kings were reduced to 14 men when Grant Kemp was sin-binned for a shoulder-charge on Bryan Habana, but the hosts did well not to lose ground during this period and Catrakilis landed his third three-pointer to edge his team ahead.
The Stormers enjoyed several visits to the Kings’ red zone and eventually crossed the line on the stroke of half-time when Fourie was driven over. Pietersen’s conversion attempt hit the post, which limited his side to an 11-9 lead at the break.
Jantjies and Catrakilis traded penalties shortly after the restart. Both teams tested each other for much of the second half until Jantjies extended the Stormers lead to 17-12 through a 70th-minute penalty.
Fourie then sealed the win by beating off three defenders en route to his second try.
Kings – Penalties: Demetri Catrakilis (4).
Stormers – Tries: Deon Fourie (2). Conversion: Elton Jantjies. Penalties: Jantjies (3), Joe Pietersen.
Kings – 15 SP Marais, 14 Marcello Sampson, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Andries Strauss (c), 11 Michael Killian, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Wimpie van der Walt, 6 Cornell du Preez, 5 Darron Nell, 4 David Bulbring, 3 Kevin Buys, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Subs: 16 Grant Kemp, 17 Hannes Franklin, 18 Steven Sykes, 19 Devin Oosthuizen, 20 Nicolas Vergallo, 21 George Whitehead, 22 Shane Gates.
Stormers – 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Don Armand, 6 Deon Fourie (c), 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Subs: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Gerbrandt Grobler, 19 Rhynardt Elstadt, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Gary van Aswegen, 22 Gerhard van den Heever.
Photo: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images
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