The Stormers scored 13 tries in their 87-5 hammering of the Boland Cavaliers in Wellington on Friday.
In sweltering conditions, a Stormers team packed with Springboks shrugged off both the heat and their outclassed opponents to claim a big win in their final pre-season match.
The hit-out would have done the Stormers’ confidence a world of good, and coach Robbie Fleck would have been pleased that he was able to experiment with a few of his youngsters – including young wing Nico Leonard, who scored a brace off the bench in the second half – as well as integrate some of his first-choice players.
The Stormers’ Springbok-laden pack was far too strong for their opponents, and the centre pair of Damian de Allende and Ruhan Nel, who seems to have picked up where he left off in the Currie Cup, also produced a number of good touches and could be a combination to watch this season.
The Stormers ran rampant in the first half. A brace from SP Marais, one of three players to score twice in the match, to go with tries from JD Shickerling, Sikhumbuzo Notshe and promising tighthead Neethling Fouche, put them 35-0 up. Nel then threw an exquisite dummy to add to the scoreline before captain Siya Kolisi also grabbed a try to make it 49-0 at the break.
The half-century was brought up early in the second half as Paul Roos product Leonard, who looked comfortable in the Stormers setup, went over in the corner after some fast hands from the backline.
Boland then got their only points of the match as fullback Gavin Skippers gave the crowd something to cheer about, before both Shickerling and Leonard completed their braces.
The Stormers added more pain to the hosts as No 8 Juarno Augustus showed good anticipation to dive on to a Herschel Jantjies grubber in the in-goal area, before flank Jaco Coetzee also grabbed two tries, one of which featured a lung-busting run on to an inside pass from centre Dan du Plessis.
The Stormers will begin their Vodacom Super Rugby campaign with a match against the Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria next weekend.
Stormers – Tries: JD Shickerling (2), Sikhumbuzo Notshe, SP Marais (2), Neethling Fouche, Ruhan Nel, Siya Kolisi, Nico Leonard (2), Juarno Augustus, Jaco Coetzee (2). Conversions: SP Marais (4), Willemse (3), Jean-Luc du Plessis (4).
Boland Cavaliers – Try: Gavin Skippers.
Stormers – 15 Craig Barry, 14 JJ Engelbrecht, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 SP Marais, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Justin Phillips, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Subs: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Juarno Augustus, 22 Kobus van Dyk, 23 Herschel Jantjies, 24 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 25 Joshua Stander, 26 Dan du Plessis, 27 Dan Kriel, 28 Nico Leonard.
Boland Cavaliers – 15 Gavern Skippers, 14 Juandre Joseph, 13 Michaine Fick, 12 Wayne Smith, 11 Valentino Wellman, 10 Monty Dumond, 9 Ricardo Duarttee, 8 Patrick O’Brien, 7 Kenan Cronje, 6 Tapiwa Tsomondo, 5 Johannes Janse van Rensburg, 4 Marlyn Williams (c), 3 Clinton Theron, 2 Neil Rautenbach, 1 Arnout Malherbe.
Subs: 16 Francois Esterhuyzen, 17 Theunis Nieuwoudt, 18 Clarence van Wyk, 19 Robyn Adams, 20 Deejee Putter, 21 Taine-Randall Booysen, 22 Thurlow Marsh, 23 Vincent Fredericks, 24 Gurshwin Africa, 25 Sherwin Cupido, 26 Garrick Mattheus, 27 Wilneth Engelbrecht, 28 Andries Viljoen, 29 Givan Adams, 30 Shilton van Wyk
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images