Skop, skiet en wen



May 30, 2016
Skop, skiet en wen

GIANT CLASH: Eben Etzebeth and De Jager. CREDIT: Bertram Malgas

Etzebeth and De Jager rol sparks local derby to life.

It was a rol involving Springbok locks Eben Etzebeth and Lood de Jager 30 minutes into the Stormers/Cheetahs encounter that ultimately sparked the match to life at Newlands on Saturday.

And like his team, who won the match 31-24, it was Etzebeth who came out tops in the battle of the best No.4s in the country.

The match needed that moment, with the scores reading 9-9 at the time after Jean-Luc du Plessis and his opposite number Fred Zeilinga traded penalties.

New Zealand referee Glen Jackson understood that the Springbok squad announcement that was to be made later that day would mean things would get heated in the middle.

And he deserves kudos for not getting carried away and penalising the players to the point where he would take the heat out of the battle.

It’s like that moment brought new life into the encounter, with the Stormers opening the scoring six minutes later via debutant midfielder Daniel du Plessis after some good work by Man of the Match Siya Kolisi to make it 14-9 at the break.

Two minutes after the interval, Stormers winger Leolin Zas scored an opportunistic try when he intercepted a Cheetahs try to run clear for the five-pointer.

The conversion made it 21-9 and the Stormers looked like they would run away with the win.

But the drama wasn’t over as fullback Cheslin Kolbe was knocked out cold and had to be stretchered off.

This clearly shook the Stormers team as they allowed the Cheetahs to score two tries via Paul Schoeman and Sergeal Petersen to make it 24-21 with 20 minutes to go.

Kolbe’s return to the bench clearly ignited his teammates again, as he was up and walking again.

And so were the Stormers. Replacement hooker Scarra Ntubeni won a crucial turnover in their red zone, with winger Kobus van Wyk finishing off the counterattack with a five-pointer. Neil Marais added a penalty for the visitors to make it 31-24 in the end.

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