Sloppy Stormers ease past Sunwolves
SUPER RUGBY MATCH REPORT: The Stormers eased past the Sunwolves, 52-15, at Newlands on Saturday.
However, the eight-tries-to-two victory was not the kind of performance that will inspire confidence ahead of the play-offs in a fortnight.
Apart from the poor form of a few key players - most notably Springbok lock Pieter-Steph du Toit's disinterested showing - they home team was also very sloppy.
They did score eight tries and showed that when they get it together they can be a dangerous side.
With their Super Rugby quarterfinal place already assured as Africa Conference One champions, the Stormers at times showed impressive attacking intent in their final home game of the regular season - with wing Cheslin Kolbe scoring a second consecutive hat-trick.
The visitors from Japan suffered an early blow when inside centre Derek Carpenter was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle.
The Stormers took advantage soon afterwards when Kolbe latched on to a loose ball that had been hacked ahead to race away for the opening try.
The Sunwolves got on the scoreboard with a penalty from flyhalf Yu Tamura, but the Stormers responded with a second try.
After being awarded an attacking scrum the forwards showed good patience on the Sunwolves tryline until it was sent wide and it was EW Viljoen who went over for the try after getting a pass from Nizaam Carr.
The Sunwolves were up against it and regrouped well as they hit back with a try of the own, with left wing Teruya Goto scoring in the corner.
The Stormers would have the final say in the first half with a third try which was sparked from the back by Dillyn Leyds who threw a dummy to go through a gap and then put a kick over the top for Seabelo Senatla who scored in the corner to give his side a 19-10 advantage at the break.
The home side were first to strike in the second half as 19-year-old flyhalf Damian Willemse spotted a gap and charged straight up the middle of the pitch to score under the uprights.
The Sunwolves hit back with another try of their own as hooker Takeshi Hino forced his way over from close range to reduce the Stormers' advantage to 26-15 with 30 minutes left to play.
In response the Stormers camped in Sunwolves territory and looked to have scored but Leyds was forced into touch in the corner.
However, he was not to be denied when some slick passing saw a gap open up for him to race through to put his team 33-15 up with 20 minutes left on the clock.
Leyds added another try shortly afterwards after racing through another gap, which gave the Stormers a 38-15 buffer.
There was still time for two more tries for Kolbe as the Stormers sealed a comfortable win in the end.
Man of the match: Sunwolves fullback Riaan Viljoen had his moments, captain and loose forward Willie Britz was busy, as always, with wings Kotaro Matsushima and Teruya Goto very exciting with ball in hand. Their most productive player was flyhalf Yu Tamura. Flyhalf Damian Willemse had another good game for the Stormers, in only his second Super Rugby outing. Chris van Zyl was the workhorse in the pack. However, the finishing ability of fullback Dillyn Leyds and wing Cheslin Kolbe wins our award.
For the Stormers:
Tries: Kolbe 3, E Viljoen, Senatla, Willemse, Leyds 2
Cons: Willemse 6
For the Sunwolves:
Tries: Goto, Hino
Yellow card: Derek Carpenter (Sunwolves, 2 - foul play, high tackle)
Stormers: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Juarno Augustus, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Stephan de Wit, 20 JD Schickerling, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Dan Kriel, 23 Bjorn Basson.
Sunwolves: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Kotaro Matsushima, 13 Ryohei Yamanaka, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Teruya Goto, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Keisuke Uchida, 8 Willem Britz (captain), 7 Shuhei Matsuhashi, 6 Malgene Ilaua, 5 Uwe Helu, 4 Kotaro Yatabe, 3 Takuma Asahara, 2 Takeshi Hino, 1 Koki Yamamoto.
Replacements: 16 Atsushi Sakate, 17 Masataka Mikami, 18 Koo Jiwon, 19 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 20 Shokei Kin, 21 Kaito Shigeno, 22 Rikiya Matsuda, 23 Jumpei Ogura.
Referee: Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Shuhei Kubo (Japan), Adriaan Jacobs (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)