WIT WARM: Cheslin Kolbe

Heading to Toulouse, the 23-year-old scored 23 points, including a hattrick of tries, as the Stormers put in a decent first-half display in their 40-34 win over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

Leading 26-10 at one stage in the first half after a good display from forwards and backs alike, the Stormers allowed the Cheetahs to claw their way back in a match that will be remembered for its ill-discipline.

Stormers flank Rynhard Elstadt was shown a yellow card as well as a straight red with the Cheetahs’ Henco Venter for a scuffle near the end of the match.

Lock Pieter-Steph du Toit and Cheetahs flyhalf Niel Marais also spent 10 minutes in the cooler.

The match, though, started off at an exciting pace.

The Stormers got their first try in the second minute already when Kolbe rounded off a team move, with Elstadt also carrying the ball well in the build-up to the five pointer (7-0).

Five minutes later, the Cheetahs drew level after a try by Reniel Hugo, with Marais also converting a penalty kick to give them the lead for the first time in the match (10-7).

Then a good break by rookie Stormers flyhalf Damian Willemse saw him finish a move he started for his first five-pointer in Super Rugby.

Willemse, surprisingly didn’t take the shots at goal which points to a possible chink in his armour.

Kolbe was the man tasked with that duty after fullback SP Marais left the field with a knee injury.

It was all about Kolbe, though, as he got his second of the match on the right wing, while replacement Stormers wing Seabelo Senatla intercepted a Clayton Blommetjies pass to make it 26-10 with 10 first half minutes left.

The Stormers probably felt they had already won the game and the Cheetahs cashed in on their poor defence by scoring through Elandre Hugget to make it 26-17 at the break.

Kolbe again crossed the hosts’ tryline 12 minutes after the break, making it 33-20.

Then, with Du Toit in the sin bin because of a high tackle, the Cheetahs stunned the Stormers with two tries via Clinton Swart and Raymond Rhule (34-33) to threaten with a comeback win.

The Stormers’ substitutes, though, made the difference when prop Bongi Mbonambi offloaded to loosie Sikhumbuzo Notshe to score the winning try with eight minutes to play.

Cheetahs - Tries: Reniel Hugo, Elandré Huggett, Clinton Swart, Raymond Rhule. Conversions: Niel Marais (4). Penalties: Marais (2).

Stormers - Tries: Cheslin Kolbe (3), Damian Willemse, Seabelo Senatla, Sikhumbuzo Notshe. Conversions: SP Marais, Cheslin Kolbe (4).