The Stormers host the Cheetahs in a crucial Super Rugby Unlocked match at Newlands on Saturday evening.
Stormers vs Cheetahs – match preview
The Cheetahs might be made to rue the cancellation of their match against the Lions which cost them a shot at four or five points and the opportunity to leapfrog the Bulls into the lead this weekend.
As things stand the Stormers and Cheetahs can still win Super Rugby Unlocked but need a win at Newlands to stay in touch with the Bulls who can clinch the title with a win over the Pumas next weekend.
This match will determine which team, alongside the Sharks will be in a position to pounce should the Bulls slip up against minnows the Pumas.
This clash at Newlands will be an intriguing battle for forward dominance that should lay the platform for their respective backlines to thrive.
The Cheetahs have been hit hard by a mid-season talent drain that saw Jasper Wiese leave for the Premiership and Walt Steenkamp jump ship to the Bulls.
In the Cape side’s camp injuries have prevented them from gaining any sort of fluency despite being blessed with a raft of Springboks.
Stormers vs Cheetahs:relive Super Rugby Unlocked
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Match report: Stormers 30-13 Cheetahs
The Stormers started strongest and piled the pressure on the Cheetahs who didn’t help themselves with a string of errors out of the gate.
Herschel Jantjies opened the scoring with the simplest of scores as the Cheetahs neglected to mark him at the breakdown, as he caught Malcolm Jaer looking the wrong way and stole in down a tiny shortside to score.
Referee Marius van der Westhuizen found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time leading to a strange stoppage of the game.
Watch: Referee gets caught in a ruck
After sustained pressure Willemse made it 10-0 from the tee with twenty minutes played.
The Cheetahs got on the board through a penalty of their own but just before the break Willemse unleashed an epic dropgoal from 45-metre dropgoal.
The Stormers were dominant in the first half but failed to really make the Cheetahs pay.
The Cheetahs started well and were the first on the board in the second half goaling a longrange penalty.
They weren’t great from the restart though and a poor exit saw Gelant bring it back at them. The Springbok fullback carved them open before a strong carry from Ruhan Nel saw them burst into the 22, from there they used their line well and Juarno Augustus trotted in for his team’s second try. Willemse stretched the lead to 14 from the tee.
Rosco Specman dug out a little bit of magic to get the Cheetahs back into the contest, kicking and chasing before a freak bounce allowed him to regather and acrobatically dive in at the corner. Schoeman slammed over the conversion from a tight angle to make the game interesting.
Watch: Rosco Specman’s incredible try
The Stormers would find their response though winning a scrum-time penalty that allowed them to go out to 23-13 lead.
Willemse was at the heart of the Stormers third try which all-but sealed the contest, with Gelant crossing the line after great work from the flyhalf.
The Cheetahs tried manfully to get back into it but despite a late sin-binning for Willemse the Stormers would close out a 30-13 win in Cape Town.
Stormers: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Ruhan Nel, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Angelo Davids, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Marcel Theunissen, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain). Replacements (from): 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Sazi Sandi, 19 Neethling Fouche, 20 Chris van Zyl, 21 David Meihuizen, 22 Ben-Jason Dixon, 23 Godlen Masimla, 24 Kade Wolhuter, 25 Michal Hazner, 26 Leolin Zas.
Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Malcolm Jaer, 13 William Small-Smith, 12 Frans Steyn/Chris Smit, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Jeandré Rudolph, 7 Junior Pokomela (captain), 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 Carl Wegner, 4 Ian Groenewald, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Reinach Venter, 1 Charles Marais. Replacements: 16 Boan Venter, 17 Marnus van der Merwe, 18 Khutha Mchunu, 19 JP du Preez, 20 Aidon Davis, 21 Ruben de Haas, 22 Reinhardt Fortuin, 23 Chris Smit/Howard Mnisi.
Super Rugby Unlocked: Stormers vs Cheetahs – Kick-off time and where to watch
Date: Saturday, 14 November
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant referees: Cwengile Jadezweni, Egon Seconds
Television Match Official: Joey Klaaste-Salmans
TV: SuperSport Rugby and Grandstand