The Stormers continued their winning ways in Saturday's local Super 14 derby clash with the Cheetahs at Newlands, securing a 21-8 win.
The Stormers continued their winning ways in Saturday's local Super 14 derby clash with the Cheetahs in Cape Town, securing a 21-8 victory.
Full-back Joe Pietersen scored thirteen points to help the Stormers maintain an excellent start to their campaign with a hard-fought victory over the men from Bloemfontein.
Based on their overall territorial advantage and the Stormers grip on the match for most of the way, they deserved more value for this display but their finishing was found wanting on the day.
Jaque Fourie was also among the points-scorers as the hosts outscored the visitors by two tries to one, the solitary effort from the Free Staters coming from Meyer Bosman.
But it proved only a consolation with the Stormers holding out to stay in second place on the championship ladder.
The Stormers' back-line had an unfamiliar look about it as centre Tim Whitehead was making his debut and fly-half Willem de Waal was a late replacement for Peter Grant who picked up a freak injury during the pre-match warm-up drills.
But the enforced changes did not seem to affect the side's cohesion and once they had their noses ahead after a six-point lead, the Cheetahs' defence came in for a torrid challenge and it was only a matter of time before they sprung a leak.
They were ahead after just three minutes when Hennie Daniller was penalised for being in front of the kick, allowing Pietersen to send over the three points from close to the halfway line.
The lead was doubled shortly after, this time the penalty coming after the visitors' collapsed a maul, before the opening try in the 24th minute. It came after more dominant play by the home forwards, who worked the ball through the phases on to Anton van Zyl, Fourie and then Pietersen to run in on the left.
The extras were added as well, but Bosman's clever kick ahead bounced kindly for Robert Ebersohn to draw two defenders and pass back to his midfield partner at the same time as the visitors hit straight back.
Naas Olivier missed the easy conversion, but then joined his team-mates in defence to help frustrate the Stormers, who enjoyed plenty of possession before half-time, by keeping the 13-8 scoreline the same at the break.
Both sides had chances to score after the restart, but were let down by errors just short of the line. It took a stunning 40-metre drop goal by Olivier from the left to break the deadlock, but another piece of brilliance by Schalk Burger led to a second try for the home side.
The Springbok flanker looked to have been pushed too wide by the visiting defence, but as he headed for touch, he managed to squeeze a pass to Fourie to score.
Willem de Waal, who took over the kicking duties after Pietersen was injured and replaced at the break, missed the conversion, before Olivier exchanged the favour by wasting a penalty for his side.
But De Waal made no mistake with his next kick – awarded after the Cheetahs lost the bind at the scrum – giving the Stormers a 21-8 lead with 19 minutes to play. And the score-line remained that way until the end as Allister Coetzee's team maintained their flying start to the season.
The Cape franchise have a bye next weekend before departing on the overseas leg of their campaign in a very favourable position to challenge for a play-off position.
Tries: Pietersen, J Fourie
Pens: Pietersen 2, De Waal
Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Schalk Burger (c), 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Anton van Zyl, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Wicus Blaauw.
Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 JC Kritzinger, 18 De Kock Steenkamp, 19 Pieter Louw, 20 Ricky Januarie, 21 Willem de Waal, 22 Sireli Naqelevuki.
Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Jongi Nokwe, 10 Naas Olivier, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Frans Viljoen, 7 Juan Smith (c), 6 Hendro Scholtz, 5 Waltie Vermeulen, 4 Nico Breedt, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Wian du Preez.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Barend Pieterse, 19 Kabamba Floors, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 CornÃ© Uys, 22 Danwel Demas.
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Vinny Munro (New Zealand), Reuben Rossouw (South Africa)
TMO: Johann Meuwesen (South Africa)