The Stormers blew away the Hurricanes 27-0 to kick-off their 2020 Super Rugby campaign after a dominant display at Newlands, Cape Town.
Herschel Jantjies starred for the hosts, scoring once and setting up Sergeal Petersen and Steven Kitshoff for the game’s first two tries, with a virtuoso from the halfback position.
The scrumhalf wreaked havoc at the base of the rucks, darting through several gaps to get his side on the front foot.
Damian Willemse also scored a sensational intercept try to go with his 11 points from the tee; the Hurricanes had no answer to the one-two punch from the halfback pair.
The Hurricanes horrid losing streak at Newlands goes back to 2006.
With this being the final season at the oldest Test venue in the world, these two would need to meet in the knockout stages in Cape Town, for the Wellington side to register a win.
The New Zealanders were abject in all facets and kept scoreless by some dogged defending and terrible handling: they were lucky to get nil.
The Hurricanes lost their heads as the Stormers racked up the pressure and the points, and were lucky not to see a red card to go with their two second-half yellows for dangerous tackles.
Stormers dominate the first half, scoring three times to open up a commanding lead
Such was their dominance that it took 24 minutes for Ngani Laumape to touch the ball.
The Kiwis were struggling with the opposition’s pace and tempo.
The hot and humid conditions did not help, they were slow to every set-piece, and their usual intensity was missing.
Jantjies was causing all sorts of problems with his jinking runs around the fringes, but it was his boot that landed the first blow.
Mbongeni Mbonambi went close but was held up, but it did not matter because of some vision from Jantjies.
The halfback, knowing he had two penalty-advantages on the line, dinked a cross-kick to the unmarked Petersen, who gathered the ball on the full and dived over for the game’s opening score.
Fraser Armstrong lost his bind and footing, conceding a penalty, but Willemse missed from in front.
John Dobson’s side dominated the set-pieces, winning multiple penalties at the breakdown, as well as their driving maul.
The Canes sacked a five-metre attacking maul, but the Stormers went for another. Kitshoff crashed over with three Kiwis hanging off him to double his team’s lead.
Willemse, finally, landed a kick to make it 12-nil at the end of the first quarter.
The Hurricanes had a glorious opportunity to strike back immediately, but they made a mess of an attacking lineout on the Stormers’ 5m.
Siya Kolisi left the field after 25 minutes with a knee injury. It was sustained from a late hit and should have been a card.
Canes continue to be the architects of their own downfall with costly error-strewn display
The Hurricanes tried to manoeuvre an attack down the right but made a hash of the passing.
Jantjies scooped up the bouncing ball and race away 40 metres and score under the posts.
Willemse added the extras: 19-0
The Cape side continued to attack at every opportunity, especially in the wide channels, but some handling errors killed the momentum.
Jordie Barrett compounded his side’s error-strewn display by kicking a penalty over the in-goal area before the break.
The Hurricanes won a turnover, and penalty after Dillyn Leyds got isolated, but they messed up the attacking lineout when Du’Plessis Kirifi knocked on.
Dobson’s men went into the shed with a 19-point advantage.
Hurricanes struggle to get out of their half as tempers flare in the African heat
The home team camped inside the visitor’s half but squandered several chances to finish the match.
Plumtree’s men began to implode.
Their ill-discipline seeing the Canes lose two men to the bin for dangerous tackles, this after getting away with one as well.
Billy Proctor was sent to the bin for a late hit on Willemse, the second on the flyhalf and third late hit of the game after Kolisi took a late, low shot to his knee.
Mbonambi was helped from the field soon after, with what looked to be a leg injury after a botched Stormers lineout on the Canes’ try-line.
Willemse takes control as the Canes wilt
The flyhalf scored all eight second-half points.
He should have had more but for some wayward kicking. It did not matter, though, because the Canes crumbled.
Three-times South African Player of the Year Pieter-Steph du Toit thought he had scored, but Willemse’s wayward pass went forward.
A 12-phase attack came to nothing with another handling error by the hosts.
Willemse did extend the lead to four scores with a penalty after Vaea Fifita was yellow-carded for a high shoulder hit to Siyabonga Ntubeni’s head.
Plumtree’s charges were imploding, losing another attacking lineout due to poor handling.
Willemse capped off an excellent display at stand-off with a 95-metre intercept try, driving the final dagger through the Hurricanes’ hearts.
Final Score: Stormers 27 (19) Hurricanes 0 (0)
Tries – Petersen, Kitshoff, Jantjies, Willemse
Pen – Willemse
Con – Willemse (2)
Cards – Proctor (Yellow, 48′), Fifita (Yellow, 58′)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Ref 2: Egon Seconds
TMO: Joey Klaaste-Salmans
15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain), 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Alister Vermaak, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 David Meihuizen, 20 Ernst van Rhyn, 21 Johan du Toit, 22 Godlen Masimla, 23 Rikus Pretorius.
15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Billy Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Fletcher Smith, 9 Thomas Perenara (captain), 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Fraser Armstrong.
Replacements: 16 Asafo Auma, 17 Pouri Rakete-Stones, 18 Tevita Mafileo, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Devan Flanders, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23 Vince Aso.