Port Elizabeth – The Stormers ran in six tries as they rounded off their preparations for the Super Rugby competition beginning next week with a classy 40-7 win over the Southern Kings at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Friday.
The visitors led 26-7 at half-time and never allowed the home side into the match as they ran in a further two tries in the second period.
After losing to the Cheetahs and Lions in consecutive weeks, the youthful Kings side found the going tough against a slick Stormers outfit who are building up a good head of steam ahead of their opening Super Rugby match.
The men in white and blue made all the early running, but sterling work in the lineouts by Kings lock Rynier Bernardo prevented the visitors from making more of their early dominance.
There was a frenetic start to the game as both teams attempted to gain the upperhand in a bruising opening ten minutes.
When they spread the ball wide the Stormers always looked dangerous and Scott van Breda caused problems for his former teammates down the left wing.
The first points came after 18 minutes when Stormers scrumhalf Nic Groom dotted down after a driving maul in which skipper Schalk Burger was prominent for the visitors. Catrakilis made no mistake with the conversion to put the Stormers ahead 7-0.
Not long afterwards Rynhardt Elstadt thought he had scored his team’s second try, but referee Stuart Berry called the Stormers back for an earlier offence.
In the 26th minute the hard-working Siya Kolisi was on hand to crash over after another powerful driving Stormers maul which splintered the Kings’ defence.
The dominance exerted by the Stormers was beginning to tell and hooker Scarra Ntubeni crashed over to make the score 19-0 after 30 minutes.
Just before the break the Kings hit back with a try of their own by Paul Schoeman after some powerful driving play by the home side which put the Stormers pack in reverse gear. George Whitehead slotted the conversion to reduce the visitors’ lead to 19-7.
The Stormers found an extra gear shortly before half-time when they stretched the Kings’ defence and Groom was over for his second try of the evening to leave the visitors with a healthy 26-7 lead at the break.
Former Grey High pupil Kolisi, who enjoyed a rousing game, crossed for his team’s fifth try with 25 minutes left as the Stormers advanced their lead to 33-7.
The Kings tryline was then besieged by the Stormers who crossed for a sixth try thanks to Deon Fourie to put them ahead 40-7 with 15 minutes remaining.
Southern Kings: Try: Paul Schoeman. Conversion: George Whitehead.