Stormers hold on to win in Kimberley

Despite a late comeback attempt from Griquas, the Stormers held out to claim a 38-32 win in their second pre-season match in Kimberley on Tuesday afternoon.

Play of the day: Tinus de Beer made a solid impact when he replaced Griquas captain George Whitehead in the second half. This was no less demonstrated when he set up a nervous finish by scoring a brilliant try. After receiving the ball in space, De Beer broke the line and proceeded to step through Sergeal Petersen’s tackle before sprinting clean through to score a try under the posts.

Turning points: The Stormers looked like they were cruising to a comfortable win when a try blitz between the last 10 minutes of the first half and first 15 minutes of the second half put the visitors 38-13 ahead. However, Griquas kept fighting and got back into the match when replacement hooker HJ Luus’ try was soon followed up by a score by wing Daniel Kasende and De Beer’s excellent solo effort. That set up a tense finale, during which the Stormers defended their line desperately five minutes into overtime and did enough in the end to hold on for the win, when the referee penalised Griquas for obstruction at an attacking maul.

Standout performer: The Stormers have outstanding depth at wing, with Sergeal Petersen, Seabelo Senatla, Edwill van der Merwe and Leolin Zas in their squad. However, Sihle Njezula got his opportunity to make an impression and he certainly did that. The 22-year-old set up three of the Stormers’ tries, including one in the second half where he shrugged off the attentions of Michal Haznar (no easy feat) and sprinted into Griquas’ 22, before pausing and then offloading to put Kade Wolhuter under the posts. Njezula was unlucky not to score a try himself but has put his hand up for selection in the Stormers’ Rainbow Cup squad.

Stormers – Tries: Godlen Masimla (2), Sergeal Petersen, Marcel Theunissen, Kade Wolhuter. Conversions: Wolhuter (5). Penalty: Wolhuter.
Griquas –
Tries: Edries Arendse, HJ Luus, Daniel Kasande, Tinus de Beer. Conversions: George Whitehead, Tinus de Beer. Penalties: Whitehead (2).

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Dylan Jack