The Stormers made it two wins from two in Super Rugby as they saw off a fourteen-man Blues side 27-16 at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday.
The game was marred by a red card issued to visiting second-row Hayden Triggs in the 25th minute when the scoreline was 8-6 to the home outfit. And from then on the Stormers held the upper hand as their second try of the game, from Dillyn Leyds, gave them a cushion they sat on until full-time.
Ihaia West had given the Blues an early lead on four minutes when Stormers prop Steven Kitshoff was penalised at the scrum. However, West's opposite number, Demetri Catrakilis, responded two minutes later when Blues number eight Jerome Kaino was pinged at a ruck. It was now 3-3.
The underdog Blues were going well at this point and retook the lead in the eighth minute when West struck again off the kicking tee, this time after he was tackled high by centre Damian de Allende. But that was to be the last time the visitors held the upper hand at Newlands.
Allister Coetzee's side broke the try deadlock in the eleventh minute when good work at the breakdown from Ruan Botha resulted in several promising phases before scrum-half Nic Groom threw a dummy and went over close to the ruck on the right. Catrakilis' missed extras meant it was 8-6.
Then came that moment of madness from Triggs as his punch Duane Vermeulen saw him given his marching orders, leaving the remaining Blues an uphill task.
Leyds made the visitors pay when he collected a high ball on halfway before racing past Ben Lam to the line on 35 minutes. And when Catrakilis sent over a penalty on half-time to go with his conversion of the try, the Stormers headed into the dressing rooms with an 18-6 advantage.
The lead was extended soon after the break when ill discipline from Blues hooker James Parsons saw him take out Cheslin Kolbe off the ball. However, a mistake at the restart from Vermeulen handed the Blues a welcome three points to make it a 21-9 ball game with 44 minutes gone.
Hope did arrive for the Blues in the shape of a try from Jimmy Cowan following a slick break from Charles Piutau and Luke Braid's offload. And with 25 minutes remaining, suddenly the impossible task was suddenly not as far-fetched as before with the deficit now just five points.
But the Stormers regrouped and managed to see the game out with a further penalties from Catrakilis and replacement Kurt Coleman securing the victory.
Tries: Groom, Leyds
Pen: Catrakilis 4, Coleman
Pen: West 3
Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jurie van Vuuren, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Siya Kolisi, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Huw Jones.
Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Ben Lam, 13 Hamish Northcott, 12 Francis Saili, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Jerome Kaino (c), 7 Brendon O'Connor, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Hayden Triggs, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 3 Angus Ta'avao, 2 James Parsons, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Luke Braid, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Dan Bowden, 23 Lolagi Visinia.
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
Television match officials: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)