Second-half comeback not enough
The Boland Cavaliers gave the Stormers plenty to ponder as they beat them 29-24 in a pre-season friendly in Wellington on Saturday.
It may have been a young and experimental Stormers side, which showed plenty of guts, but it would not have been the way coach Allister Coetzee would have wanted to end the pre-season.
Boland led 24-7 at half-time and scored their fourth try in the second half, but the young men in the Stormers team showed great determination to outscore their older opponents in the second period.
Second-half tries by Rohan Kitshoff, Jarryd Sage and Devon Williams gave the men from Cape Town hope of securing a victory against all odds in trying conditions in Wellington - the temperature having hovered around the 40-degree mark for most of the day.
Flank Sikhumbuzo Notshe scored his team’s only try in the first half and the young loose forward was one of many new faces putting their hands up, the matchday squad having contained four players from the Western Province Rugby Institute (all of whom were still at school in 2013).
EW Viljoen, one of the four WPRI players in the mix, showed great touches, whilst replacement centre Jarryd Sage (a WP Craven Week player last year) scored with virtually his first touch in a Stormers jersey.
The match ended with the Stormers camping on the Boland line, before a knock-on from the visiting youngsters saw referee Marius van der Westhuizen signal full-time in a match which would have left coach Allister Coetzee smiling with the performance of the greenhorns in his squad.
For the Boland Cavaliers:
Tries: Williams, Croy, Trytsman, September
Cons: Zana 3
For the Stormers:
Tries: Notshe, R Kitshoff, Sage, Williams
Cons: Van Aswegen, Coleman
Boland Cavaliers: 15 Eric Zana, 14 Danwill Demas, 13 Cheswin Williams, 12 Albert Trytsman, 11 Cheslyn Roberts, 10 Ricardo Croy, 9 Evan Liedeman, 8 Zandre Jordaan, 7 PJ van Zyl, 6 Franzel September (captain), 5 JC Astle, 4 Hanno Kitshoff, 3 Martin Dreyer, 2 Clemen Lewis, 1 Kwezi Mkafu.
Replacements - from: Jacques Kotze, Ulrich Pretorius, Rossouw Kruger, Ben Venter, Denzil Adams, Dumisane Meslane, Bradley Ruiters, Juwell Ruiters, Len Olivier, Liam Draycott, Edwinn Sass, Brendon April, Christiaan Rust, Ashton Constant, Jovelian de Koker, Angelo van Niekerk.
Stormers: 15 EW Viljoen, 14 Scott van Breda, 13 Daniel du Plessis, 12 Kyle Lombard, 11 Devon Williams, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Rayn Smid, 7 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6 Rohan Kitshoff, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg (captain), 1 Oliver Kebble.
Replacements - from: Alistair Vermaak, Stephan Coetzee, Brok Harris, Tazz Fuzani, Carel du Preez, Eital Bredenkamp, Justin Phillips, Kurt Coleman, Bernardo Botha, JP Lewis, Jarryd Sage, Tiger Bax.
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen