The English club lost fullback Ben Loader to a red card on 17 minutes for a head-on-head tackle on Manie Libbok, which brought a premature end to the DHL Stormers flyhalf’s afternoon as well as he failed his subsequent head injury assessment.
The Capetonians scored three answered tries to lead 21-0 at halftime before replacement prop Ciaran Parker saw red for a dangerous cleanout on Deon Fourie two minutes into the second half.
John Dobson would’ve been frustrated that his charges didn’t make the most of their two-man advantage as a combination of aimless kicking and forced passes saw them add just one more try to their tally, while the die-hard hosts replied with two.
Nevertheless, the full five log points were secured as the DHL Stormers did the double over the Exiles, whom they defeated 34-14 at home in the previous round, and boosted their chances of qualifying for the Round of 16.
They host ASM Clermont Auvergne at DHL Stadium in the final round of the pool stage next weekend where they’ll look to avenge their tournament-opening 24-14 away loss to the French side.
DHL Stormers wing Angelo Davids squandered the first try-scoring opportunity when he couldn’t hold on to Ruhan Nel’s pass after the outside centre had charged down a kick and raced upfield in the eighth minute.
Their forwards ensured the visitors drew first blood in the 14th minute when Argentinian flank Juan Martin Gonzalez conceded a yellow card and penalty try for collapsing a powerful driving maul.
Four minutes later, Loader saw red for his tackle on Libbok. It came after a brilliant break by Nel and finish by Davids, however, the try was disallowed as Libbok’s pass to his wing was forward.
Nel took centre stage again when he read play perfectly to intercept Rory Jennings’ pass and cantered in for a try converted by Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu, on for the injured Libbok.
The young replacement flyhalf produced a moment of brilliant next, a delectable dink off the left boot that Suleiman Hartzenberg snapped up before beating opposite number Lucio Cinti to give the visitors a 21-point lead at the break.
Things went from bad to worse for London Irish with Parker’s red card and Davids finally had his try when he collected a hack-ahead by Dan du Plessis.
The Exiles never gave up fighting and were rewarded with a penalty try in the 50th minute, with DHL Stormers captain Steven Kitshoff yellow-carded for collapsing the maul, and a second seven-pointer by Danilo Fischetti at the death.
London Irish 14 (0) – Tries: Penalty try, Danilo Fischetti. Conversion: Rory Jennings.
DHL Stormers 28 (21) – Tries: Penalty try, Ruhan Nel, Suleiman Hartzenberg, Angelo Davids. Conversions: Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu (4).