Stormers hammer poor Cheetahs
SUPER RUGBY REPORT: A hat-trick of tries from Sikhumbuzo Notshe helped the Stormers hammer the Cheetahs 53-10 at Newlands on Saturday.
New Zealand sides Crusaders and Chiefs are the only others among the 18 in the competition to have won all their matches this year.
Skipper and flank Siyamthanda Kolisi also scored a try in the South African derby as the hosts dominated spiritless opponents and led 22-3 at half-time.
It was the widest winning margin in five matches for the Stormers after beating the Bulls and Southern Kings, the Jaguares of Argentina and the Sunwolves of Japan.
Success stretched the Stormers lead over the Cheetahs in the Africa One standings to 13 points with the Bulls third and the Sunwolves last.
Although they have completed just a third of their regular season fixtures, the Cape side are hot favourites to win the group and secure a home quarterfinal.
It was the heaviest of four losses in six matches for the Bloemfontein-based Cheetahs this season, surpassing a 27-point defeat by the Jaguares in Buenos Aires.
"A great performance and a big improvement on our performance against the Sunwolves last weekend," said Kolisi of the eight-try-to-one romp.
"My favourite moment of the match came near the end when Cheslin Kolbe tackled a much bigger opponent [Henco Venter] to prevent what seemed a certain try.
"The match had long been won, but Cheslin demonstrated the tremendous spirit that runs through our team."
Cheetahs skipper and centre Francois Venter said: "We need a new mindset and we need to keep the ball.
"It was one of those days. We have a good game plan, but are not executing it."
Wing Dillyn Leyds [two], centre Daniel du Plessis and flyhalf Robert du Preez were the Stormers other try scorers.
Du Preez kicked four conversions and a penalty and his replacement, Kurt Coleman, one conversion.
Loose forward Paul Schoeman scored the lone Cheetahs try and flyhalf Fred Zeilinga slotted the conversion and a penalty.
The Stormers host two-time former champions the Chiefs next weekend while the Cheetahs have a bye.
Man of the match: Sikhumbuzo Notshe scored three tries and was immense in open play, while Robert du Preez made good decisions on attack. However, the award goes to Sarel Marais who had a big hand in a few tries.
Tries: Leyds 2, Notshe 3, Du Plessis, Du Preez, Kolisi
Cons: Du Preez 4, Coleman
Pen: Du Preez
Stormers: 15 Sarel Marais, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Siya Kolisi (captain), 6 Cobus Wiese, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth , 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Oliver Kebble, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Dewaldt Duvenage, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Dan Kriel.
Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Nico Lee, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Niel Marais, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Armandt Koster, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements: 16 Elandré Huggett, 17 Retshegofaditswe Nche 18 Johan Coetzee, 19 Carl Wegner, 20 Niell Jordaan, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Clinton Swart, 23 Luther Obi
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman (South Africa), Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)