The Stormers survived a second-half fightback as they beat Griquas in an entertaining Preparation Series clash in Kimberley on Tuesday.
CAPE TOWN – The Stormers survived a second-half fightback to beat the Tafel Lager Griquas 38-32 in their Preparation Series match at Tafel Lager Park in Kimberley on Tuesday night.
While the Stormers got off to a good start with a converted try, Griquas wasted no time as they shot right out the blocks with an all-business attacking display, testing the Stormers’ defence and constantly threatening with ball in hand.
The hosts seemed well in control in the opening quarter and got reward in the form of a try after inside centre André Swarts put in a top running line before offloading to put the experienced and hard-running wing Ederies Arendse into space to level the scores (7-7).
They went three points up when the Stormers strayed offside; however, the hosts took a knock when scrumhalf Stefan Ungerer was yellow-carded, granting the Stormers an opportunity to draw level through flyhalf Kade Wolhuter’s boot (10-all).
While it wasn’t all perfect early in the first half, the Stormers youngsters – led by Ernst van Rhyn after Chris van Zyl was ruled out with a shoulder niggle – did well, and they did what any coach would expect while being on man up – capitalise.
They did so with some solid rugby basics, with scrumhalf Godlen Masimla putting in good support play after clearing a ruck and fullback Sergeal Petersen nicely drawing in a defender before sending the ball back to Masimla with a well-weighted inside pass to finish (13-17).
The two changes to Rito Hlungwani’s matchday squad – Petersen and Sihle Njezula – combined perfectly to create another try on the stroke of half-time (13-24).
The Stormers gained a comfortable lead after the break with a charge-down try (13-31), and from there on they just started running away with it.
But, after one last Stormers try, Griquas pulled off an impressive finish after enjoying more possession in the second half.
They scored three late tries through Hendrik Luus, Daniel Kasende, and an absolute stunner by Tinus de Beer, but this green Stormers team did enough early on and survived a thrilling final few minutes to secure return to the Cape with a win under their belt.
Griquas: Tries: Ederies Arendse, Hendrik Luus, Daniel Kasende, Tinus de Beer Conversions: George Whitehead (2), Tinus de Beer Penalties: Whitehead (2) Yellow card: Stefan Ungerer
Stormers: Tries: Godlen Masimla (2), Sergeal Petersen, Marcel Theunissen, Kade Wolhuter Conversions: Wolhuter (5) Penalties: Wolhuter