The Stormers continued their unbeaten start to the season with a 17-7 victory over the Jaguares at Newlands on Saturday. DYLAN JACK reports.
The win ensured that John Dobson’s side are the only Vodacom Super Rugby team not to have lost a game this season, with the Chiefs slumping against the Brumbies earlier on Saturday.
They also continued their winning run over their opponents at home, but ended their streak of not conceding a point at Newlands this year. 67 minutes into the match, Jaguares No 8 Rodrigo Bruni forced his way over after a dominant scrum to become the first player to score a try at Newlands this season.
After a tight first half the Stormers took a slim 3-0 lead into the break, with Damian Willemse’s 10th-minute penalty the lone score of the half.
While the Stormers were getting plenty of go-forward from their domimance in the scrums, they struggled to convert that into points. As much as the Jaguares were on the back foot, their defence held up remarkably well given that they were forced into 82 tackles, missing just eight.
Evidence of the Stormers’ scrum dominance came in the period that Frans Malherbe was off after being harshly yellow-carded for a dangerous tackle. Despite playing with only seven men in the scrum, the home side still managed to win a couple of penalties with Wilco Louw looking fired up on his 50th appearance.
Aside from the 10 minutes before the break, most of the first-half play took place between the 10-metre lines. It seemed that as soon as the Stormers would get momentum from a strong carry, usually through Jamie Roberts or Jaco Coetzee, that momentum would die the more phases ensued.
A intercept try looked the best way that the Stormers were going to get a try as Herschel Jantjies threatened to latch on to a couple in the first half. Just seven minutes into the second, the scrumhalf picked up a loose ball and sprinted through to dot down under the posts.
That seemed to put the hosts in their groove as after a lineout on the Jaguares’ 22, Ruhan Nel burst over the line to give them a 17-point lead. That was cut to just 10 points after Bruni managed to ground the ball, giving the visitors hope of a comeback similar to the one at Loftus Versfeld last year.
However, the Stormers managed to win a turnover in their own 22 and work their way upfield to claim the win.
Stormers – Tries: Herschel Jantjies, Ruhan Nel. Conversions: Damian Willemse (2). Penalty: Willemse.
Jaguares – Try: Rodrigo Bruni. Conversion: Domingo Miotti.
Stormers – 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff (c).
Subs: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Johan du Toit, 21 Ernst van Rhyn, 22 Godlen Masimla, 23 Jean-Luc du Plessis.
Jaguares – 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Santiago Chocobares, 12 Juan Cruz Mallia, 11 Sebastian Cancelliere, 10 Domingo Miotti, 9 Tomas Cubelli (c), 8 Rodrigo Bruni, 7 Tomas Lezana, 6 Francisco Gorrissen, 5 Lucas Paulos, 4 Matias Alemanno, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Santiago Socino, 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.
Subs: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Marco Viyas, 18 Joel Sclavi, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Marcos Kremer, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, 23 Matias Moroni.
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images