The Stormers hold a strong win record over the Blues at Newlands and will be highly determined to maintain their unbeaten start to the Vodacom Super Rugby season when they meet on Saturday, writes ANDRE HUISAMEN.
The Cape Town outfit have won all four of their previous encounters against the Blues in the Mother City and the teams have delivered some classics as a result.
One of these matches that will be remembered for quite a long time was the ill-tempered clash of 2017.
The Stormers had just returned from a disastrous tour of New Zealand where they conceded over 150 points from three matches against the Crusaders, Highlanders and Hurricanes.
They were determined to get a win over the Blues to get their campaign back on track and in a strong second-half performance came from behind to win 30-22.
But, it wasn’t all plain sailing and a lot of off-the-ball incidents made the headlines.
Blues winger Matt Duffy received a yellow card in the 12th minute of the match for repeated infringements and nine minutes later Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth was also sent to the sin bin after striking Akira Ioane in the face during a heated scuffle.
It sparked a massive brawl on the Stormers’ tryline with Sonny Bill Williams fronting up to Etzebeth as all hell broke loose.
Etzebeth was probably lucky to escape with only a yellow card as replay clearly showed an open-handed slap to Ioane’s face.
His 10-minute absence led to tries by George Moala and James Parsons as the Blues took a 12-3 lead.
A Siya Kolisi try on the stroke of half time cut the deficit to two points heading into the break, but a third try for the Blues by Blake Gibson just after the interval gave the visitors a healthy lead again.
The Stormers finally got some momentum going halfway through the second half when they began to pile the pressure on the Blues.
It led to an important score by wing Dillyn Leyds and a few moments later Duffy received his second yellow card for diving on Cheslin Kolbe, who was on the ground. It meant a subsequent red card for the Blues player, much to the disgust of Duffy and the rest of his team.
At that stage the Stormers held a one-point lead but they capitalised on their one-man advantage for the final 15 minutes of the game with a try by Sikhumbuzo Notshe and a SP Marais penalty three minutes from time to put the game to bed for the home side.
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