Ruhan Nel scored a brace of tries to help the Stormers claim a late bonus-point win over the Scarlets in Llanelli on Saturday and secure a home Vodacom United Rugby Championship quarter-final.
The 26-21 victory saw the Stormers become the inaugural winners of the competition’s SA Shield, finishing inside the top four on 61 points, with Munster still to play Leinster in the final match of the round. The Irish derby will decide whether the Stormers finish second or third on the table.
Regardless, the Stormers got what they came for, even though it was a bit of a scrap against the Scarlets at times.
The hosts took an early 10-0 lead and were 16-7 up in the first half, before Evan Roos powered over the tryline from close range to make it a two-point game at half time.
The Stormers took the lead for the first time after Nel scored the first of his tries in the opening stages of the second half. The outside centre had an influential performance on attack and defence, which included a vital tackle to force a knock-on when Scarlets threatened to snatch the game late on.
Warrick Gelant was equally influential as he was typically at the heart of the Stormers attack, while he did excellently to intercept a pass when the Scarlets were on the attack just outside the Stormers 22.
The visitors came under pressure after Deon Fourie was controversially and harshly yellow-carded for what was adjudged to be a high tackle by the TMO. From there, the Scarlets managed to level the scores at 21-21 through Ryan Conbeer’s try.
However, with just a few minutes left on the clock, the Stormers managed to win a scrum inside Scarlets territory and launched an attack, which ended in Gelant putting Nel over for the winning try.
Photo: Ben Evans/Huw Evans Agency/Gallo Images