The Stormers continued their unbeaten start to the Super Rugby season on Friday with a solid 27-17 win over the Blues at Newlands.
The Stormers continued their unbeaten start to the Super Rugby season with a convincing 27-17 win over the Blues at Newlands on Friday.
The result provisionally takes the side from Cape Town to the top of the overall standings and ensures they will finish the weekend leading the South African conference.
After an error-ridden performance, the Blues are left rooted to the bottom of the New Zealand conference with just a solitary win from their four games.
The teams scored two tries each, but five penalties from home full-back Joe Pietersen proved the difference as the Stormers claimed a thoroughly deserved four tournament points.
The hosts ruled at scrum time and never really looked like losing despite a slight wobble around the hour mark when their lead was cut from 21 to just 7 points in a space of eight minutes.
Already depleted at kick-off by the absence of a number of injured first-choice players, the Blues were given further reason to worry as captain Kevin Mealamu was forced off early in the second half after taking a knock to the knee.
The visitors looked nothing like the side that upset the Bulls last weekend, lacking continuity in their set-piece and showing poor discipline to give the Stormers the ascendancy from the opening minutes.
A dominant first half from the Stormers saw the hosts take a 17-3 lead into the break thanks to a try from Bryan Habana and handful of penalties from Joe Pietersen.
An equally dominant start to the second period saw the Stormers extend the lead to 24-3 as Jean De Villiers also crossed the whitewash.
But the Blues launched a gallant comeback as Benson Stanley and Charlie Faumuina scored with minutes of each other to drag the visitors back into the game.
A late Pietersen penalty was however enough to seal victory over the depleted Blues.
For the Stormers:
Tries: Habana, De Villiers
Pens: Pietersen 5
For the Blues:
Tries: Stanley, Faumuina
Cons: Anscombe 2
Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nick Koster, 7 Duane Vermeulen, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Skara Ntubeni, 17 Frans Malherbe, 18 De Kock Steenkamp, 19 Nizaam Carr, 20 Louis Schrueder, 21 Gary van Aswegen, 22 Gerhard van den Heever.
Blues: 15 Lachie Munro, 14 Ben Lam, 13 Benson Stanley, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Sherwin Stowers, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Chris Lowrey, 7 Daniel Braid, 6 Luke Braid, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Filo Paulo, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu (c), 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Tevita Mailau, 18 Brad Mika, 19 Peter Saili, 20 Alby Mathewson, 21 Hadleigh Parkes, 22 Francis Saili.
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)