The Stormers got another great victory on their Australasian tour before heading home by beating the Force by 16 points to 32.
The Force, it must be said were not the same team that they have been in the past five weeks. They were directionless and put themselves under pressure throughout the match.
The Stormers came out on fire and scored a try after just 48 seconds as Tonderai Chavhanga scored the first of his two tries.
For a lot of the match the Force were their own worst enemy making mistake after mistake.
The Force were expected to triumph after a strong tour of New Zealand that yielded two wins, but were harassed into a stream of sloppy errors in an often ugly game.
Down 20-11 at the break, the Force never looked strong and although the Stormers’ Peter Grant allowed the home side to remain in the contest by missing three second-half penalties, they couldn’t capitalise.
The Stormers sealed the surprise win when captain Jean de Villiers intercepted a Lachlan McKay pass and raced in to score under the posts in the 65th minute and give his side a 27-11 lead after the Grant conversion.
JD Moller then secured an unexpected bonus point for the visitors with his first Super rugby try in the 70th minute, before the Force scored a late consolation try through Ryan Cross.
The win took the resurgent Stormers to a 3-4 record after three victories in four matches on their tour of Australia and New Zealand, while the loss was blow to the Force’s play-off hopes as they slipped to 4-3.
A weary de Villiers said it was a satisfying result.
“We worked hard for it and we have a good tour behind us,” he said.
“We were really feeling it in the last 10 minutes, but I am very proud of these guys.” Force captain Nathan Sharpe was left lamenting a poor performance in his 100th Super game.
“We lacked energy and were lethargic across the board,” he said. “We made too many mistakes to be competitive.” Narrow losers to the Crusaders in their only previous home game of the season, the Force made the worst possible start.
It took just 48 seconds for the Stormers to stun the home side with the first try, with the always dangerous Tonderai Chavhanga running on to a deft Grant kick to score easily.
Grant converted to give the visitors the perfect start and a 7-0 lead.
The Force struck back when a brilliant run by Matt Giteau enabled Drew Mitchell to cross in the corner in the 15th minute, before the former gave the home side the lead by slotting a 19th minute penalty.
However, more poor defence by the Force enabled Grant to set up another try for Chavhanga with a perfect pass in the 22nd minute as the Stormers regained the ascendancy.
The Stormers led 14-8 after the Grant conversion and extended the margin with a penalty from the same player in the 34th minute.
The visitors suffered a blow when Schalk Burger was sent off for laying on the ball in the 37th minute, and the Force edged closer with the subsequent Giteau penalty.
The Stormers snatched a 20-11 half-time lead when Grant slotted another penalty to end the first half.
Cards – Schalk Burger (yellow)
Venue : Subiaco Oval, Perth
Referee: Lyndon Bray (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees : Vinny Munro (New Zealand), Geoff Acton (Australia)
TV Match Official : Steve Leszczynski (Australia)
Reviewer/Perf. Auditor : Brendan McCormick (Australia)
1. Pek Cowan,2. Tai McIsaac,3. AJ Whalley,4. Tom Hockings,5. Nathan Sharpe (c),6. Scott Fava,7. David Pocock,8. Richard Brown,9. Chris O’Young,10. Matt Giteau (vc),11. Drew Mitchell,12. Scott Daruda,13. Ryan Cross,14. Scott Staniforth,15. Cameron Shepherd
Reserves:16. Luke Holmes,17. Troy Takiari,18. Sam Wykes,19. Tamaiti Horua,20. James Stannard,21. Lachlan MacKay,22. Nick Cummins.
Conrad Jantjes; Tonderai Chavhanga, Gcobani Bobo, Jean de Villiers (c), Sireli Naqelevuki; Peter Grant, Ricky Januarie; Luke Watson, Francois Louw, Schalk Burger, Andries Bekker, Ross Skeate, Brian Mujati, Schalk Brits, JD Moller.