The Stormers gave Super Rugby’s Asian newcomers the Sunwolves their biggest loss to date with a 46-19 thumping at Newlands in Cape Town.
The Sunwolves rested a number of their best players for the match and the lack of experience was evident in the contest.
The Stormers outscored the Sunwolves by seven tries to three in the match which earned the hosts their second try bonus point of the season.
The Sunwolves played the final 9 minutes of the match with 14 players after Timothy Bond was red carded for a late shoulder charge. Bond was suspended for a week last month for charging into a ruck against the Rebels.
There were early signs that the Stormers were going run the ball at every opportunity, even from deep options, and that meant that Sunwolves defence would be severely tested.
Initially, the visiting Japanese defence stood firm as they held out the Stormers’ attempts to cross the whitewash.
However, once the Stormers started attacking in the wider channels, they found openings in the Sunwolves defence who went on to concede four tries in the 14 minutes.
Flank Sikhumbuzo Notshe sparked the four-try effort with a touchdown in the 10th minute, and six minutes later centre Kobus van Wyk followed suit.
Hooker Siyabonga Ntubeni grabbed the bonus-point try in the 22nd minute and the crowd were hardly back in their seats when midfielder Juan de Jongh sprinted in.
Debutant flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis, who had earlier kicked a 5th-minute penalty, was on target with the conversion attempts for first and the last try.
The Sunwolves staged a fightback soon afterwards and a thrilling hand-to-hand move down the Grandstand touchline ended with their SA-born fullback Riaan Viljoen running in at the corner flag for an unconverted try to round off the first-half scoring.
The Stormers were in for another surprise when they failed to cope with an instance of enterprise in the Sunwolves backline and scrumhalf Yuki Yatomi and his halfback partner Yu Tamura added the extra points with the conversion.
This 12-point setback proved to be a wake-up call for the Stormers and they showed a renewed sense of urgency which produced two tries in the three minutes, to secure their bonus point.
Notshe grabbed his second of the night in the 50th minute and three minutes later scrumhalf Louis Schreuder ran in unchallenged after the Sunwolves’ central defence collapsed. Du Plessis banged over both conversions.
Despite a host of attacking movements in the final stages of the game, the only advance on the scoreboard came via a converted Sunwolves try by Viljoen, his second of the night, and another for the Stormers at the death for Du Plessis.
Next week the Stormers play the Lions in Johannesburg while the Sunwolves travel to Bloemfontein to play the Cheetahs.
Final Score Stormers 46 (27) Sunwolves 19 (5)
Tries -S. Notshe 2, K. van Wyk, S.Ntubeni, J.de Jongh, L.Schreuder, JL du Plessis
Pen – JL du Plessis
Con – JL du Plessis 3
Tries -R.Viljoen 2, Y.Yatomi,
Con -Y. Tamura 2
Cards – T.Bond (71st min Red)
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 1:Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 2:AJ Jacobs
TMO :Johan Greeff
15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Juan de Jongh (co-captain), 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Oli Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Frans Malherbe (co-captain), 19 Rynhardt Elstadt, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Huw Jones, 23 Damian de Allende.
1-Masataka Mikami, 2 -(c) Shota Horie, 3-Takuma Asahara, 4-Shinya Makabe, 5-Timothy Bond, 6-Liaki Moli ,7-Ed Quirk, 8-Tomas Leonardi , 9-Yuki Yatomi, 10-Yu Tamura, 11-Akihito Yamada, 12-, 13-Mifiposeti Paea, 14-Viliami Lolohea, 15-Riaan Viljoen
Replacements: 16-Takeshi Kizu, 17-Ziun Gu, 18-Shinnosuke Kakinaga, 19-Yoshiya Hosoda ,20-Andrew Durutalo , 21-Atushi Hiwasa, 22-Harumichi Tatekawa , 23- Yasutaka Sasakura.