Stormers bludgeon Jaguares into submission at Newlands

15 March 2019 - 21:19 By Craig Ray at Newlands
Stormers' JD Schickerling (R) is tackled during the Super Rugby rugby union match between South Africa's Stormers and Argentina's Jaguares at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town, on March 15, 2019.
Stormers' JD Schickerling (R) is tackled during the Super Rugby rugby union match between South Africa's Stormers and Argentina's Jaguares at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town, on March 15, 2019.
Image: RODGER BOSCH / AFP

The Stormers earned a confidence-boosting, bonus point win before their four-week slog around Australasia with an emphatic 35-8 victory over the Jaguares at Newlands on Friday.

It was the Stormers’ third win in a row after their first round drubbing at the Bulls, which was built on a swarming defensive effort and more clinical finishing. It has set them up well for their tour that sees the play the Blues, Hurricanes, Reds and Rebels in the coming month.

Scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies had a fine game, scoring a try and making two try-saving tackles on fullback Joaquin Tuculet and tighthead prop Santiago Medrano. Combined the pair weigh 70kg more than the Stormers halfback.

Jantjies scored a sniping try on the hour after three phases of quickly recycled ball – the first time the Stormers managed that in the match. The try ended the game as a contest.

But it was a collective team effort of controlled aggression that saw the Stormers gradually bludgeon the visitors into submission.

It was a game of big hits and brutal physicality and the Stormers’ big men came to the party.

Pieter-Steph du Toit was everywhere, Siya Kolisi had a marauding outing in both attack and defence and JD Schickerling channelled his inner Eben Etzebeth with a display of intense power. Etzebeth himself was prominent until he was withdrawn at halftime after a blow to the head.

The Stormers’ bench was also decisive with Damian Willemse, Jaco Coetzee, Cobus Wiese and Bongi Mbonambi all taking the level up several notches when they arrived.

The Jaguares initially held their own in contact, but eventually the constant pounding, both with and without the ball by the Stormers, saw the Argentineans crack. By the 50-minute mark they were losing almost every collision.

After a scrappy, error-ridden first half, which included three lost lineouts for the Stormers and two by the Jaguares, the home team turned the screw after the break.

Their defence swamped the Jaguares, forcing several turnovers. The Stormers probably should have done more with their chances, but they did enough.

The Jaguares rocked the Stormers early on when wing Bautista Delguy profited through an SP Marais slip, which created space for the wing to score in the corner.

Marais though showed no signs of shaken confidence and proceeded to successfully land five out of five kicks at goal for a haul of 13 points before being withdrawn midway through the second half.

The Stormers took the lead in the 19th minute when centre Daniel du Plessis collected a spilled ball under the Jaguares crossbar after flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis’ deft dink.

Marais’ third penalty, from 51-metres on halftime gave the Stormers a handy 16-8 lead at the break, which translated into a more assured second half display.

Kolisi surged over the line from the back of a rolling maul eight minutes into the half before Jantjies accelerated through a small gap 11 minutes later for the Stormers third try of the game, and only their fifth of the season.

In between the Jaguares had their chances. After a turnover the Jaguares showed skilful interplay to put Tuculet away, only for Jantjies to bring him down three metres from the line.

Minutes later the Jaguares thought they had scored when Medrano crashed over but replays showed Jantjies’ vital hit did enough to dislodge the ball.

Scorers:

Stormers – Tries: Dan du Plessis, Siya Kolisi, Herschel Jantjies, Justin Phillips. Conversions: SP Marais (2), Jean-Luc du Plessis. Penalties: Marais (3)

Jaguares – Try: Bautista Delguy. Penalty: Joaquin Diaz Bonilla.

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