February 15, 2015
Stormers conquer Loftus
The Stormers kicked off their Super Rugby campaign with a precious away win, beating arch-rivals the Bulls 29-17 in Pretoria.
The Stormers outscored their misfiring hosts two tries to one for a deserved victory at Loftus Versfeld.
Despite being on the wrong side of the possession and territory stats, the Stormers led 17-5 at the interval thanks to tries from debutant wing Dillyn Leyds and skipper Duane Vermeulen.
Indeed, the Bulls - who had scored the first try of the game via a rolling maul - dominated field position and had most of ball in the first half, but never really looked like breaking the Stormers defence down.
The second half proved to be a battle of the kickers as the Bulls dragged themselves bag into contention. But the Stormers finished the stronger side and will head back to Cape Town brimming with confidence.
It took just four minutes for the home side to open the scoring as Deon Stegmann crashed over after a textbook lineout and maul drive, but they failed to trouble the scorers again before the break.
Leyds was first to strike for the Stormers, cashing in on an error from Jurgen Visser, who dropped a high ball. The Stormers wing pounced on the fumble and bolted home. Demetri Catrakilis added the conversion.
Vermeulen extended the lead on the half-hour mark, running a brilliant line to slip a tackle cross under the posts after a solid build up from his backs with Cheslin Kolbe and Damian de Allende prominent.
Again Catrakilis added the extras as the visitors took a comfortable lead into the changing rooms.
The Bulls upped the ante in the second half though, forcing a series of errors from the Stormers defence.
Handré Pollard kicked four penalties to one from Catrakilis to cut the gap to just three points at 20-17 going into the final quarter.
The Bulls continued to make errors at crucial teams. Catrakilis added three more points and a late penalty and drop-goal from Kurt Coleman sealed the result.