A sobering end to their hopes of making the play-offs
The Stormers recorded a convincing 16-0 victory over the Bulls at Newlands to completely extinguish the visitors' play-off hopes.
The home side was dominant in the first half, as they racked up a commanding 16-0 lead by half-time, and they held out well in the scoreless second half in the face of some serious pressure from the Bulls.
The Stormers started with real intent and looked after the ball well as they surged deep into the Bulls 22. A high tackle on Juan de Jongh gave Kurt Coleman the chance to give them an early 3-0 lead.
They kept the pressure squarely on the visitors and it eventually told when Coleman broke the line and found Nizaam Carr who drew the last defender to put Jaco Taute over for the opening try.
The conversion saw the home side hit double figures without reply, and although the Bulls were a constant threat in the line-outs, the Stormers scrum had the early ascendency.
The onslaught continued and another penalty from Coleman saw the lead stretch to 13-0 after an opening half-hour that had belonged almost solely to the hosts.
It was more of the same in the final stages of a half which had seen them do little more than tackle, and Coleman was able to add a third penalty to put the Stormers 16-0 up at the break.
The Bulls made a determined start to the second half but a few crucial turnovers in the 22 saw the Stormers keep them at bay, much to the frustration of captain Victor Matfield.
With 25 minutes left it started to rain at Newlands and as if one cue the Bulls launched a driving maul in the corner in search of their first points, however the Stormers came up with another crucial turnover on their tryline with skipper Schalk Burger showing that he still has a nose for the breakdown.
The Stormers made a number of important turnovers in their own 22 throughout the match, which was key in keeping the Bulls scoreless despite the fact that the visitors saw far more of the ball in the second half.
The final stages of the game were fairly scrappy as conditions and the intensity of the game took their toll on the accuracy of the players.
The Stormers ultimately cruised to victory in a game that had shown off their attacking abilities in the first half and their defensive resolve in the second, whilst for the Bulls it was a sobering end to their hopes of making the play-offs.
Man of the match: The Stormers forward pack was very impressive as they laid the platform for victory with a strudy scrum and some key contributions at the breakdown. Most impressive of all was flank Nizaam Carr who was a threat both with and without the ball.
For the Stormers:
Pens: Coleman 2
For the Bulls:
Stormers: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger (captain), 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Martin Dreyer, 19 Manuel Carizza, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Peter Grant, 23 Seabelo Senatla.
Bulls: 15 Ulrich Beyers, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Grant Hattingh, 7 Jacques Engelbrecht, 6 Jono Ross, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Marcel van der Merwe, 18 Morné Mellett, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Roelof Smit, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 23 William Small-Smith.
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius Jonker (South Africa), Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)