The Stormers powered to a comfortable 10-41 bonus-point win over the Southern Kings at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
A second half fightback by the Kings was in vain as the Cape side continued their unbeaten start to the season, scoring six tries in the process.
Stormers flyhalf Robert du Preez’s 17-point haul included a try and highlighted the depth at the position in Newlands.
The Kings went into the break only 14 points down but tries from Du Preez, debutant Justin Phillips and EW Viljoen, who was again superb in midfield, settled the game as the visitors romped to a 31-point win.
The PE based franchise remain winless in South African derbies since they were admitted into Super Rugby and the future does not look bright.
The Stormers dominated the contact area as well as the scoreboard, scoring three tries in either half, against a spirited but limited Kings.
Tries from Dyllian Leyds, Bjorn Basson and Rynhardt Elstadt set the tone in the first period.
The home team only had a fourth minute Lionel Cronje penalty on the board. As they trailed 17-3.
The match started with both sides feeling each other out. The battle at the ruck was fierce. Chris Cloete caused problems for the Stormers loose forwards as they battled at the breakdown.
Cronje’s long-range penalty put the Kings 3-nil up. 10 minutes late Leyds gave his team the lead they would not relinquish; handing off Waylon Murray, showing a dummy and then, shrugging the weak tackle from the covering Masixole Banda, to dot down.
The Stormers had front-foot ball all game and won the battle on the gain line. The Kings had some reward at the breakdown with Cloete causing problems but, the visitors continued to rack up tries.
On the half hour, the Stormers scored a try of beauty and vision. Nizaam Carr’s short burst from a ruck inside Stormers’ territory set the play in motion.
Dewaldt Duvenage received the flanker’s pass, shifted the ball to halfback partner Du Preez, who switched play to Viljoen on his inside shoulder.
The centre ghosted through the Kings’ defence, drew his man and gave the ball to Dan du Plessis who, in turn, popped a pass back inside to Du Preez.
The flyhalf threw a wide, drifting pass to Basson, on the touchline, five metres from the whitewash.
The winger was tackled, showed his nous regarding the tackle law, released the ball, got to his feet, regathered and scored: Wow.
A breathless move, full of artistry and invention was followed by another five minutes later.
Another attack was stopped short of the Kings’ try line.
Viljoen covered for his missing scrumhalf and with quick ball, passed left where Du Preez’s fast released skip-pass, missed Basson and sent Elstadt over in the corner; 3-17 at the break.
Du Preez scored early, collecting a short pass on the gain line, saw two forwards in his path, shimmied and darted between the defenders. The 23-year-old converted his try and the lead was 19.
The Kings reduced the deficit when Cronje’s well-weighted grubber was collected by Mapimpi, who beat Basson to the ball and scored.
Du Preez added a penalty to make it 10-27 going into the final quarter before some more magic settled the game with five minutes remaining.
Kurt Haupt’s pirouetted a pass to Viljoen, who found SP Marais joining from deep on the outside – with shades of Andre Joubert – cut infield between two defenders coasted into the Kings’ 22, took a tackle and offloaded a cheeky back door pass to the supporting Phillips who scored under the sticks.
The visitors were not yet done and found time to add a sixth.
A quick tap penalty started byDuvenage, ended with Phillips turning provider for Viljoen who put a shine on a polished performance in Port Elizabeth.
The final score: Kings 10 (3) Stormers 41 (17)
Tries – Mapimpi
Pen – Cronje
Con – Cronje
Tries – Leyds, Basson, Elstadt, Du Preez, Phillips, Viljoen
Pen – Du Preez
Con – Du Preez (2), Coleman (2)
Referee: Shuhei Kubo
Assistant ref 1: AJ Jacobs
Assistant ref 2: Cwengile Jadezweni
TMO: Shaun Veldsman
15 SP Marais, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Bjorn Basson (Stormers debut), 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oli Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Chris Van Zyl, 20 Jaco Coetzee (Super Rugby debut), 21 Justin Phillips (Super Rugby debut), 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Damian Willemse (Super Rugby debut).
15. Masixole Banda, 14. Makazole Mapimpi, 13. Waylon Murray, 12. Luzuko Vulindlu, 11. Malcolm Jaer, 10. Lionel Cronje (V/C), 9. Rick Schroeder, 8. Ruaan Lerm, 7. Thembelani Bholi, 6. Chris Cloete, 5. Irne Herbst, 4. Tyler Paul, 3. Ross Geldenhuys, 2. Michael Willemse, 1. Schalk Ferreira (capt)
Replacements: 16. Kurt Haupt, 17. Schalk van der Merwe, 18. Chris Heiberg, 19. Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20. Andisa Ntsila, 21. Johan Steyn, 22. Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 23. Berton Klaasen
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