STORMERS GO DOWN IN DURBAN
By: Nkosazane Dambuza
The DHL Stormers suffered a 22-10 defeat in a highly physical derby clash against the Cell C Sharks in Durban on Saturday.
The cloudy afternoon saw light showers of rain just before kick-off and the slippery conditions proved difficult for the Cape Town side.
The Sharks quickly gained momentum as fly-half Garth April scored a penalty kick within five minutes of the game. Followed by an opening try from Johan Deysel which set the home side well ahead.
The Stormers side were pointless throughout the first half as the Sharks grew stronger and hungrier.
Chiliboy Ralepelle took a knock to the head and had to exit the field when Franco Marais replaced him.
The Sharks side continued to gain territory in the Stormers defence.
The Durban team suffered a massive setback when Lukhanyo Am gained an eye socket injury which saw him withdrawing from the Boks squad in the upcoming French series..
Stephan Lewis scored a try for the Sharks and Garth made no mistake with the conversion to make the score fifteen nil before heading to the change rooms.
In the second half, the Stormers pounced back into the game and scored a penalty kick which set the momentum for their drive.
The Stormers side showed brilliant strength with strong drives against the Sharks defence and for some time seemed to camp on the Sharks defence line.
The young under 20 SA winger S’busiso Nkosi provided the moment of the game when he broke out clean through the Stormers’ defence and out sped the Stormers to score a memorable try for the Sharks as they fought to stay ahead.
A conversion from April set the Sharks comfortably ahead as the game neared the finish.
Stomers’ coach, Robbie Fleck commented, “We got off to a slow start and made too many mistakes. I’m disappointed in our performances because we had our chances but we kept on missing on making mistakes.”
Robert Du Preez, coach of the Sharks said that his team did really well and the intent on both attack and defence was fantastic.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better result just before the break.”
He added that the team needs to keep the momentum and add to it in the following games.