Super Rugby

Stormers see off spirited Sunwolves




The Stormers beat the Sunwolves 31-18 in a stodgy Super Rugby game at Newlands, Cape Town.

Semisi Masirewa’s late double, denying the South Africans a bonus-point, and possibly ended the Stormers’ slim chances of making the playoffs.

The Sharks play away to the South African Conference-leading Jaguares in Buenos Aires, later tonight.

If the Sharks lose but get a losing bonus-point, the Stormers will drop to the bottom of the conference log on points difference, but could still qualify if results go there way.

Jaco Coetzee starred for the Cape side, scoring a brace of his own in a powerful number eight performance.

He could have had more if not for a few handling errors, but that could be said for a few Stormers.

Four tries – two apiece – in the last half-hour of the game, capped a dull affair under Table Mountian.

First-half tries by Bongi Mbonambi and Craig Barry gave the Robbie fleck’s men a slender eight-point lead at the interval.

The metronomic Hayden Parker added two penalties for the Sunwolves, who struggled to stay in the contest.

Josh Stander added penalty as the hosts looked to increase their advantage.

Coetzee, who was immense, and Masirewa both grabbed second-half braces as the Stormers cruised to victory

Stormers control the opening stanza

The game started poorly for Jean-Luc du Plessis, who dropped a highball and kicked out on the full in the opening exchanges, putting his side on the back foot.

Hayden Parker opened the scoring with an 11th-minute penalty following a lineout infringement by the Stormers.

Siya Kolisi was rewarded with his decision to opt for a lineout instead of taking the points when Bongi Mbonambi crashed over.

The hooker broke off the rolling maul, reached out in the tackle, and dotted down over the line.

Jean-Luc du Plessis added the extras from wide.

The match was played at a slow pace, both teams looking to kick from their half.

Mistakes continued as the players struggled to keep possession in contact or take high balls, although, Robbie fleck’s side did not have a scrum-feed in the first-half.

Craig Barry finished off a free-flowing counter-attack after Dan Kriel ripped the ball out of Josh Timu’s hands, on halfway.

Super Rugby Video Highlights, Round 17: Stormers versus Sunwolves, Newlands, Cape Town

Kriel charged forward and sent a pass to JJ Engelbrecht, who put Barry away down the sideline.

Du Plessis slotted the touchline conversion to make it 14-3 just after the half-hour.

Parker doubled his team’s score, four minutes before halftime.

A dull second-half was littered with errors in the stop-start affair

The first scrum for the Stormers came three minutes after the break.

Handling errors mounted.

Both teams dropped passes and intercept opportunities, and they struggled to gather kicks as well.

Out of nowhere, the game lit up.

Coetzee, who had several intercept chances, sent Masirewa to the shops with an outrageous dummy Bobby Skinstad would have been proud.

Jano Vermaak’s smart clearance, with nobody back after a turnover, set up the score.

The ball was picked up at the ruck by the No. 8, who sold the hot-cake to the fullback and scored.

The Sunwolves were reeling, they needed some magic.

Enter Masirewa

Masirewa counter-attacked after a turnover inside his team’s goal-line, although, nothing came of it.

It sparked the Japanese into action.

Tony Brown’s men struck as the game entered the final quarter.

Masirewa scored under the sticks, performing a swallow-dive to boot, which brought the visitors back into the game.

Stander, however, kicked a penalty soon afterwards to extend the gap to 11 with less than a quarter of an hour to play.

The home team dominated the closing stages; the Sunwolves had no answers for their driving maul.

The Japanese did not contest the entire game.

With the game in the final throes, another driving maul killed the game when Coetzee crashed over the whitewash.

Coetzee, under a sea of bodies, got up with the ball, registering his first Super Rugby double in a monumental display.

Masirewa added another, three minutes later. The Fijian flyer sure can finish.

His second score took his tally to 10 tries in an impressive campaign when he dotted down in the corner.

But it was too little; too late for the tourists.

Final Score: Stormers 31 (14) Sunwolves 18 (6)


Tries – Mbonambi, Barry, Coetzee (2)
Pen – Stander
Con – J. Du Plessis (3), Stander
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Masirewa (2)
Pen – Parker (2)
Con – Parker
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant Ref 1: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Ref 2: Cwengile Jadezweni
TMO: Christie du Preez



15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Craig Barry, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Jaco Coetzee, 7 Johan du Toit, 6 Ernst van Rhyn, 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain).

Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 David Meihuizen, 20 Chris Massyn, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Josh Stander, 23 EW Viljoen.


15 Semisi Masirewa, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Josh Timu, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Hosea Saumaki, 10 Hayden Parker (captain), 9 Jamie Booth, 8 Ben Gunter, 7 Shuhei Matsuhashi, 6 Ryota Hasegawa, 5 Tom Rowe, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Conan O’Donnell, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Alex Wooton.

Replacements: 16 Takuya Kitade, 17 Matasaka Mikama, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Yuya Odo, 20 Masakatsu Nishikawa, 21 Keisuke Uchida, 22 Timothy Lefaela, 23 Akihito Yamada.

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