The victory - with the hosts reduced to 14 men due to a red card with 10 minutes to go in the match - ensured an all-South African final against the Vodacom Bulls, at the DHL Stadium on Saturday, 18 July at 19h30.

The match was on a knife's edge for most of the second half after Ulster went into the break leading by 15-10, but the DHL Stormers' never-say-die attitude pulled it through for them, much to the delight of the massive crowd in Cape Town.

The first half was a tight tussle as both teams threw everything at one another, and managed to score twice with JJ Kotze (hooker) and Evan Roos (No 8) crossing the chalk for the hosts.

Ulster wing Robert Baloucoune and fullback Stewart Moore touched down for the visitors, while scrumhalf John Cooney added a conversion and penalty goal to hand them a 15-10 halftime lead.

The second half was a gruelling affair with the only points being the (very) late try by Warrick Gelant and conversion by Libbok, which earned them the narrow victory despite both teams trying hard to make their presence felt in the second stanza.

Warrick Gelant on his way to scoring the crucial try in injury time that levelled the scores.

Warrick Gelant on his way to scoring the crucial try in injury time that levelled the scores.

The DHL Stormers showed their intent from the outset scoring a maul try by Kotze in the second minute and they added their second try in the 13th minute as Herschel Jantjies (scrumhalf) and Roos cleverly played down the blind side, with the No 8 crashing over to hand his team a 10-0 lead.

Ulster hit back strongly with Baloucoune touching down in the right corner shortly before the second quarter to open their scoring, and they added their second five pointer compliments of Moore in the 28th minute and the successful conversion pushed them into the lead for the first time of the match.

Cooney had the last say in the half as he kicked a penalty goal in the dying minutes to hand them a 15-10 lead going into the break.

Ulster tried hard to stamp their authority in the second half and their efforts got them close to the try line in the 56th minute, but they were shut out as the hosts' defence forced them into a crucial error.

The DHL Stormers also threw everything at the opposition as the half progressed, and both teams defended as if their lives depended on it. But with less than 10 minutes left to play, Adre Smith (replacement lock) received a red card for making contact with the eye area of Ulster captain Iain Henderson.

Despite this, the Capetonians continued to show their fighting spirt and got close tryline on a few occasions, one of which was a disappointing maul attempt which saw them concede a costly turnover, which could have earned them a valuable win with minutes left to play.

But when the DHL Stormers were presented with a final opportunity to snatch a win, four minutes after the siren had sounded, their attempts paid off as Gelant dashed over in the left hand corner and Libbok sunk the conversion to seal a nail-biting 17-15 victory.


DHL Stormers 17 (10) - Tries: JJ Kotze, Evan Roos, Warrick Gelant. Conversion: Manie Libbok.

Ulster 15 (15) - Tries: Robert Baloucoune, Stewart Moore. Conversion: John Cooney. Penalty goal: Cooney.