The Stormers produced a composed performance to erase a seven-point deficit in beating the Dragons at Rodney Parade in Newport on Friday.
What a performance and what a result for the Stormers! They combined territorial and possession dominance with superb defence to finish their tour with a well-deserved 24-10 win.
Fullback Warrick Gelant was in a class of his own as he produced an individual performance for the ages, sending a timely reminder to the national selectors ahead of the Springboks’ European tour.
Wing Leolin Zas was also influential as he crossed for both of the Stormers’ tries.
In a low-scoring but intense contest, the Stormers and Dragons traded blows with little to separate the teams throughout the game.
The Stormers matched their hosts’ physicality and landed the first punch after some excellent defensive play when a 50:22 kick from Warrick Gelant put them in a favourable position on the field.
Having been frustrated by the Stormers’ stubborn defence, the Dragons immediately conceded a penalty when under pressure inside their 22 and flyhalf Manie Libbok knocked over a penalty to give the visitors the lead.
Fortunes changed and the momentum swung in the 20th minute when Stormers captain Salmaan Moerat was controversially yellow-carded for what the match officials deemed a high tackle.
And with the Stormers a man down, the Dragons took advantage with fullback Josh Lewis going over to score the first try to give the home side the lead.
The conversion and a then penalty five minutes later extended their lead, but the Stormers finished the first half strongly with two quick-fire penalties, earned at the breakdown, to go into the interval trailing 10-9.
But in a one-sided second half, the Stormers kept the Dragons scoreless and scored 15 unanswered points in the final quarter of the game to secure their maiden win of the tournament.
First a Gelant grubber was gathered by Zas for the Stormers’ opening try and then the winger turned defence into attack when a Dragons scrum in the 22 was turned and Zas kicked long and chased down the ball to score his second at the death.