The DHL Stormers secured a home semi-final after claiming a comprehensive quarter-final victory over the Vodacom Bulls at a packed Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.
The defending champions built on a 17-7 half-time lead to claim a 33-21 victory over their rivals, taking the winning streak in the north-south derby to six in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship.
The Stormers will host Connacht in the semi-finals, after the Irish side produced a massive upset in their derby victory away to Ulster on Friday night.
A roar from a record crowd of 46, 800 greeted the teams to the field and it was the hosts who harnessed that energy to produced an utterly dominant performance.
It took just six minutes for the Stormers to get the ball over the tryline for the first time after a strong maul, but a potential opening score was chalked off for a knock-on. Three minutes later, Hacjivah Dayimani would not be denied, cantering in to finish off a move that started with a break from Libbok.
The Stormers playmaker came back to haunt his former side with a classy Man of the Match performance, slotting all of his attempts at goal and causing mayhem on attack with a combination of silky runs and clever kicks.
The running by Manie Libbok ?
The hands by the Stormers ?
The try by Hacjivah Dayimani ?
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It got worse for the Vodacom Bulls as Johan Goosen put a kick out on the full, before Libbok slotted a 42-metre penalty. Goosen then missed a long-range penalty attempt of his own and the Vodacom Bulls were reduced to 14 men for a crucial period after Cyle Brink was shown yellow for a cynical tackle on Dayimani.
From there, the Stormers continued their dream start by extending their lead to 17 points when Zas dotted down on his return to the team, following more good work from Libbok.
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To their credit, the Vodacom Bulls continued to fight. The visitors reduced the deficit to just 10 points when Brink atoned for his sin-binning by reaching over the tryline just before the break.
However, the away side made the worst possible start to the second half when Goosen was concussed in a collision with Dan du Plessis and had to be stretchered off.
A penalty from Libbok and try from Angelo Davids after a powerful run down the left wing from Zas took the Stormers to a 20-point lead.
The Stormers did have to hunker down in defence for a 10-minute period, during which Embrose Papier sniped over for a try, but Libbok continued his perfect day off the kicking tee to steer the hosts home, despite a consolation try from Bismarck du Plessis on the full-time hooter.
Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images