Sunday, May 23, 2010
The Stormers beat the Waratahs 25-6 in Cape Town in the second semifinal of the Super 14 yesterday. Centre Juan de Jongh scored the only try of the match, with flyhalf Peter Grant kicking six penalties and a conversion.
The two best defensive sides in the competition went head to head at Newlands, but it was the Stormers who reached their first ever Super 14 final and will face the Bulls in Orlando next weekend.
De Jongh, who has been included in the Springbok side to face Wales on the 5th June, scored his first ever Super 14 try as he stepped Kurtley Beale and wing Drew Mitchell on his way to the tryline.
The Stormers didnt concede a point for the last 55 minutes, adding to their impressive defensive display throughout the tournament.
"It was typical semifinal rugby," Stormers captain Schalk Burger said. "It was pretty tough to get stuff going but at the end of the day we won it and that's all that matters."
Coach Allister Coetzee said he was relieved afterwards.
"The players had to grind this one out and that's what they did. That's how you win playoff matches. Our defence put them under pressure and kept winning penalties and it shows at the end on the scoreboard," he said.
"This is the side the media mocked in the past as a side that flatter to deceive and are a great team on paper. But this team has matured and we're happy that we have become part of history.
"But we have work to do next week and we respect the Bulls. They are the best team in the southern hemisphere and we are excited to have this opportunity," he added.
The South African derby, the first final of its kind since 2007, will be a bruising encounter next weekend. The Bulls might have the edge at home, but expect plenty Stormers fans to travel up for the big match.