Super Rugby

Stormers flex their muscles in Cape Town

Cape Town - The Stormers flexed their muscles as they ran in 7 tries to beat the Sunwolves 46-19 at Newlands on Friday night. 

The bonus-point win means the Stormers solidify their position at the top of the South African group with the Sharks, Lions and Bulls all in action on Saturday.

The Sunwolves were always going to be up against it, but few would have expected them to be blown away in the first half. 

The Stormers onslaught simply overpowered the Super Rugby newbies, and the game was over as a contest inside half an hour.

First to score was Sikhumbuzo Notshe, who capitalised on a second phase that followed a solid Stormers scrum 5m out. 

Next up was wing Kobus van Wyk. 

After another period of tryline pressure from the Stormers, where they had kept it among the forwards, the ball finally went wide. 

Rookie flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis swung an inch-perfect lofted pass to his right where Van Wyk was arriving at pace, and the stretched Sunwolves defence couldn't cover the ground. 

A well-worked move off a lineout followed.

The Stormers looked set to go to the rolling maul, but instead Siya Kolisi gave the ball back to hooker Scarra Ntubeni, who dived over in the right corner.

Immediately after the restart Schalk Burger put Cheslin Kolbe in a gap that allowed the Stormers fullback to make the break. 

Kolbe, at full pace, then unleashed Juan de Jongh. 

The Stormers captain almost lost his footing, but he finished off the move. 

When Du Plessis converted, the scoreboard read 27-0 to the hosts after just 27 minutes. 

The Sunwolves were trying to throw the ball around and showed glimpses of excitement at times, but the execution just wasn't there. 

To their credit, they finished the first half the stronger side and were rewarded with a try just before the break as fullback Riaan Viljoen gave the underdogs some joy.

The visitors were also first to strike after the restart when scrumhalf Yuki Yatomi showed good feet to skip his way past the Stormers defence.

Having fought their way back to 27-12, the Sunwolves would have been feeling a bit better about life ... but that didn't last long.

Notshe grabbed his second of the night - the Sunwolves defence again simply too stretched to deal with the Stormers width - before scrumhalf Louis Schreuder put the game to bed.

There was a roar from the Newlands crowd as Springbok superstar Damian de Allende made his return from an ankle injury, though he did not have a major impact during his time on the pitch.

Viljoen grabbed a try back for the Sunwolves, but what had been an entertaining match lost some its glow in the final 10 minutes as things turned nasty.

Referee Nicholas Berry was forced to show Tim Bond a straight red card after the Sunwolves lock smashed his shoulder directly into Kolbe's head after he had released a pass. 

Kolbe staggered off the pitch, but the game was given the ending it deserved when a magical solo effort from Du Plessis, who kicked his way down the left hand touchline, saw the final nail hammered into the Sunwolves coffin. 

Scorers

Stormers 46 (27)

Tries: Sikhumbuzo Notshe (2), Kobus van Wyk, Scarra Ntubeni, Juan de Jongh, Louis Schreuder, Jean-Luc du Plessis

Conversions: Du Plessis (4)

Penalty: Du Plessis

Sunwolves 19 (5)

Tries: Riaan Viljoen (2), Yuki Yatomi

Conversion: Yu Tamura (2)

Teams:

Stormers

15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Juan de Jongh (co-captain), 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Oli Kebble

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Frans Malherbe (co-captain), 19 Rynhardt Elstadt, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Huw Jones, 23 Damian de Allende

Sunwolves

15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Viliami Lolohea, 13 Mifiposeti Paea, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Akihito Yamada, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Yuki Yatomi, 8 Tomas Leonardi, 7 Ed Quirk, 6 Liaki Moli, 5 Timothy Bond, 4 Shinya Makabe, 3 Takuma Asahara, 2 Shota Horie (captain), 1 Masataka Mikami

Substitutes: 16 Takeshi Kizu, 17 Ziun Gu, 18 Shinnosuke Kakinaga, 19 Yoshiya Hosoda, 20 Andrew Durutalo, 21 Atsushi Hiwasa, 22 Harumichi Tatekawa, 23 Yasutaka Sasakura