Superhero Sunday gave everyone the impression that the Bulls would be the favourite for this game. The Stormers decided to turn everything on its head by shutting down the Hurricanes last week with a 27-0 win.
So what were we in for in this South African derby? Common respect, but the exceptionally fierce rivalry between two powerhouses of South African rugby.
Both teams started out looking exceptionally sharp and focused. It didn’t take long for the mistakes to creep in and the first 15 minutes turned into exchanges that were full of handling errors with multiple turnovers.
It took 36 minutes for there to be play that wasn’t happening between the two 22s. The highlight of the 1st half was the Stormers actually getting into the Bulls 22m and putting together a solid lineout mall and scoring.
And that was it…
The best thing about the first half actually was the half-time whistle. Hopefully, the second half would be something to watch, but the first half evidence didn’t give me much hope.
Throughout the game, Damian Willemse blew hot and cold. Some amazing runs and touches, but a flyhalf that couldn’t kick accurately most of the time.
After the 50th minute try from Senatla the game started coming alive at last!!!
…but it didn’t last.
The Stormers did look like the better side at the start of the game. This makes perfect sense with them riding high on confidence after the win over the Hurricanes.
It was unclear where the Stormers of that famous victory disappeared to though. They did get a try at the end of the first half, but there was literally nothing else to get excited about.
The Bulls started out with great speed in a number of areas across the field. It was however often a pass that would be lacking some accuracy that would kill all momentum.
Morne Steyn was putting on another kicking master class and would drive back the Stormers whenever he got the chance with pin-point kicking.
That was the only thing that the Bulls had to get excited about in terms of attack in the first half. The majority of their passes were a mess when things looked promising.
Their defense however kept the Stormers at bay for most of the first half and they could take some confidence from that.
Stormers: Herschel Jantjies (9), Jamie Roberts (12), Ruhan Nel (13)
Bulls: Jeandre Rudolph (6), Ivan van Zyl (9), Morne Steyn (10)
ThysRugby player of the game: The final whistle
Best plays of the game
- The lineout mall resulting in the Stormers try
- The half-time whistle
- The Senatla try
- The final whistle
Stormers: They were a shadow of the team from a week ago. Not the same outfit as there were loads of errors.
Bulls: Never really threatened. There is sadly a lot of work that needs to happen this coming week to help change things around.