The Stormers delivered a mix of the magical and the mediocre in their 52-15 bonus-point win against the Sunwolves at Newlands on Saturday. JON CARDINELLI reports.
The Stormers came into this game without a host of frontline players. There was no urgency at the gainline during the early stages of the contest, and no patience shown with ball in hand. The quality of the defence in the first half left a lot to be desired.
Going into the second quarter, the Sunwolves trailed the Stormers by just four points. The visitors blew a series of scoring chances thereafter, and conceded a try right on half-time.
Dillyn Leyds broke the line and then chipped ahead for Seabelo Senatla to chase. The Blitzboks star finished in spectacular fashion to ensure that the Stormers went to the break with a 19-10 lead.
Leyds sparked another attack shortly after the break when he beat the first defender and found Damian Willemse with a neat offload. The young flyhalf then showed exceptional pace to surge up the middle and record the Stormers' fourth try.
The hosts then conspired to concede a try at the other end of the park. Poor defending around the fringes allowed the Sunwolves to score via hooker Takeshi Hino.
Leyds scored in the 59th minute after ghosting through a gap and then stepping round the last defender. The Stormers fullback crossed the line for a second time when he exposed more shambolic defending by the Sunwolves.
Kolbe then scored his second try of the evening after hacking a loose ball ahead and collecting a favourable bounce. On the stroke of full-time, Leyds raced away and unselfishly passed to Kolbe to allow the right winger to complete his hat-trick.
The Stormers were the better side on the day and deserved the five log points. That said, more will be expected of them in the playoffs when they meet the cream of the New Zealand crop.
Stormers – Tries: Cheslin Kolbe (3), EW Viljoen, Seabelo Senatla, Damian Willemse, Dillyn Leyds (2). Conversions: Willemse (4), Kolbe (2).
Sunwolves – Tries: Teruya Goto, Takeshi Hino. Conversion: Yu Tamura. Penalty: Tamura.
Stormers – 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Juarno Augustus, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Subs: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Frans van Wyk,19 JD Schickerling, 20 Stephan de Wit, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Dan Kriel, 23 Bjorn Basson.
Sunwolves – 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Kotaro Matsushima, 13 Ryohei Yamanaka, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Teruya Goto, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Keisuke Uchida, 8 Willem Britz (c), 7 Shuhei Matsuhashi, 6 Malgene Ilaua, 5 Uwe Helu, 4 Kotaro Yatabe, 3 Takuma Asahara, 2 Takeshi Hino, 1 Koki Yamamoto.
Subs:16 Atsushi Sakate, 17 Masataka Mikami, 18 Koo Jiwon, 19 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 20 Shokei Kin, 21 Kaito Shigeno, 22 Rikiya Matsuda, 23 Jumpei Ogura.
Photo: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images