The first half was gripping as the Vodacom Bulls showed their grit and despite receiving two yellow cards, scored a converted try and two penalty goals to a penalty try and two penalty goals by the hosts, which saw the teams enter the break tied at 13-13.

The Capetonians got the second half off to a storming start with three tries in a row to add to a penalty goal by Springbok flyhalf Manie Libbok, while they limited the visitors to two late tries to snatch the handy victory.

Libbok kicked two penalty goals in the first 10 minutes to hand the hosts a 6-0 lead as the

Vodacom Bulls suffered a setback shortly after with flank Marco van Staden receiving a yellow card for a dangerous tackle.

The Vodacom Bulls struck back in the 20th minute with a penalty goal by flyhalf Johan Goosen reducing their deficit to three points, but they were again reduced to 14 men minutes later as flank Elrigh Louw received his marching orders for collapsing a maul, and this earned the Capetonians a penalty try in the process and an encouraging 13-3 lead.

Replacement Vodacom Bulls loose forward Nizaam Carr scored a stunning try as he drove over the chalk after gathering a great cross kick on the 26th minute, which saw them again trail by three points.

The Pretoria outfit showed good enterprise on attack throughout the half, but they struggled to convert their pressure into points, partly due to the effective DHL Stormers’ defence.

The half ended in dramatic fashion as Louw was tackled high as he tried to force his way over the try line, which saw Goosen slot a penalty goal to level the scores at 13 all. The DHL Stormers got a golden opportunity to score a try on the stroke of halftime with an attacking lineout, but they lost the lineout, which saw the teams level on 13 apiece going into the sheds.

The hosts had a chance to regain the lead five minutes after play resumed as Libbok had a shot at the posts, but his attempt went wayward, however, hooker Joseph Dweba and centre Suleiman Hartzenberg made up for this as they crashed over within short succession to hand the team a 27-13 lead.

Dweba produced a powerful leg drive after some strong play to get over the chalk, while Hartzenberg finished off a stunning team try from exciting attacking play.

Wing Leolin Zas added their third try of the half soon after as he danced his way through the defence after gathering a long pass out wide, and Libbok slotted all three conversions to push their score to 34 points shortly before the fourth quarter.

The Vodacom Bulls fought back with intent, which saw Van Staden forcing his way over in the 63rd minute and the conversion by Goosen left 14 points behind on the scoreboard, but a third penalty goal by Libbok nudged them ahead once again with 10 minutes left to play.

The Vodacom Bulls never gave up and this resulted in replacement hooker Bismarck du Plessis scoring their second try in the dying minutes, which Chris Smith (replacement flyhalf) converted, but this was too little too late as the visitors had to settle for a 37-27 defeat.


DHL Stormers 37 (13) – Tries: Penalty Try, Joseph Dweba, Suleiman Hartzenberg, Leolin Zas. Conversions: Manie Libbok (3). Penalty Goals: Libbok (3).

Vodacom Bulls 27 (13) – Tries: Nizaam Carr, Marco van Staden, Bismarck du Plessis. Conversions: Johan Goosen (2), Chris Smith. Penalty Goals: Goosen (2).