Both teams went into this titanic North-South derby with added motivation to perform. Connacht’s 15-10 victory in Belfast on Friday night eliminated Ulster from the tournament, and thereby guaranteed the winner of the playoff in Cape Town a home semi-final.

As it happened, the DHL Stormers dominated the first half, and then held their nerve in the second to complete a convincing victory in front of a record crowd of 44,109. The result marked the Cape franchise’s sixth-consecutive win in the Vodacom URC against their rivals from Pretoria.

Springbok flyhalf Manie Libbok was at the heart of the hosts’ excellent kicking performance. The DHL Stormers pinned the Vodacom Bulls in their own territory for much of the first half.

Hacjivah Dayimani and Leolin Zas crossed for tries, and Libbok slotted three kicks from the tee. Had they been more clinical, however, they may have taken a greater lead than 10 points into the break.

The Vodacom Bulls fought hard to stay in the contest. While the hosts had the better of the set pieces and breakdowns, the visitors scrambled well on defence to stop a couple of certain tries.

Flanker Cyle Brink received a yellow card for foul play in the 27th minute. After several assaults on the Vodacom Bulls’ tryline, the DHL Stormers eventually breached the 14-man side. When Brink returned late in the half, however, the visitors set an unstoppable maul, and the No 7 was credited with the try.

But the DHL Stormers began the second half much like they had started the first – and racked up 10 unanswered points. Libbok slotted two important kicks, while Angelo Davids finished a sweeping attack. After 49 minutes, the hosts were out to a commanding 27-7 lead.

The Vodacom Bulls showed some enterprise, and were rewarded when they crossed the tryline via Embrose Papier in the 58th minute. They hosts regained control thereafter, though, with Libbok adding two further penalty goals.

Bismarck du Plessis crashed over the line at the death, and Chris Smith added the extras. The late surge could not prevent the DHL Stormers from completing a big win, or securing a home semi-final.


DHL Stormers 33 (17) - Tries: Hacjivah Dayimani, Leolin Zas, Angelo Davids. Conversions: Manie Libbok (3). Penalty goals: Libbok (4).

Vodacom Bulls 21 (7) - Tries: Cyle Brink, Embrose Papier, Bismarck du Plessis. Conversions: Johan Goosen, Chris Smith (2).