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Stormers too strong for Bulls at Newlands

NZN 25/02/2017 Nick Said

The Stormers have won a pulsating South African Super Rugby derby as they defeated the Bulls 37-24 at Newlands to send out a warning of their potential in this year's competition.

The home side ran in five tries via fullback SP Marais, wingers Cheslin Kolbe and Dillyn Leyds, number eight Nizaam Carr and newly-appointed captain Siya Kolisi.

Bulls number eight Hanro Liebenberg bagged a brace of tries for the visitors, to go with scores from prop Pierre Schoeman and replacement scrumhalf Piet van Zyl as captain Handre Pollard lasted 65 minutes of his comeback after a year out through injury.

The Stormers profited from a superb first-half performances in which they bullied the visitors in the collisions, were dominant in the scrum and competitive at the line-out on the Bulls throw.

Three well-worked tries took them go into the break 24-0 to the good as they kept ball in hand and refused to get sucked into a kicking game for territory.

Marais scored the opener following a move that started with a quick-tap from a penalty in the Stormers 22 as the home side broke the length of the field for the former Bulls man to dot down.

Another debutant, centre EW Viljoen, was the architect of the second as his grubber kick was perfect for the diminutive Kolbe to skip over the line.

The home side were rewarded for more positive play on the stroke of halftime when they turned down a simple three points via a penalty in favour of a reset scrum, from which Carr cantered over.

The Bulls made a better start to the second half and Liebenberg finished a fine move in the corner, but the home side hit back almost immediately as Kolisi barged over the line.

The unrelenting pace of the game continued and the Bulls hit back again as scrumhalf Rudy Paige popped the ball up for Schoeman to score his first Super Rugby try.

After Du Plessis had added a penalty for the home side, Liebenberg grabbed his second try in the same corner as the Bulls finally found some rhythm.

But any thoughts of a dramatic comeback were laid to rest when Leyds went over for the Stormers to restore their healthy advantage, with Van Zyl's score on the hooter for the visitors a mere consolation.

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