United Rugby Championship

Stormers snatch late win after spirited Bulls fightback in thrilling URC derby

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Madosh Tambwe and Seabelo Senatla (Gallo)
Madosh Tambwe and Seabelo Senatla (Gallo)
Lee Warren/Gallo Images

The Stormers claimed a thrilling victory over the Bulls thanks to a late try by Paul de Wet in their United Rugby Championship (URC) encounter at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

As it happened | URC - Bulls v Stormers

The Stormers won 30-26 after leading 18-7 at half-time.

Former Blitzboks star Seabelo Senatla was on song for the Stormers in the first half, scoring a brace with great assistance from flyhalf Manie Libbok.

Libbok's grubber saw Senatla dash forward and dive over to score his second try as the Stormers took an 18-0 lead in the first 30 minutes of the game.

The Stormers occupied most of the possession in the first-half, but when Stormers flank Ernst van Rhyn was sent to the sin bin, the Bulls fought back.

At the stroke of half-time, Bulls hooker Johan Grobbelaar scored from a driving maul with Chris Smith converting to see the Bulls go to the changeroom 7-18 down.

In the second half, the hosts tore the Stormers defence and a brilliant strike play saw Madosh Tambwe go over the line with Morne Steyn conversion, putting the Bulls four points behind.

It didn't take long for the Bulls to pull ahead as Embrose Papier raced under the sticks after a cross kick from Steyn.

The Bulls continued the momentum in the second half as Elrigh Louw stormed over the line to 26-18 but at that moment broadcaster SuperSport faced technical issues with referee Jaco Peyper having to make decisions on real-life play. 

The Stormers then fought back with Springbok star Herschell Jantjies responding with a try under the posts as Libbok missed a straightforward conversion.

With the Stormers just three points behind, SuperSport lost the feed entirely from Loftus with studio commentary offered for TV viewers but play continued.

In the rare 'black out', the Stormers roared back late as replacement scrumhalf Paul de Wet scored a late try to seal a bonus-point win for the Cape Town franchise.

Next week the Bulls will face the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday at 15:00, while the Stormers travel to Kings Park to take on the Sharks on Saturday at 17:05.

Scorers:

Bulls 26 (7)

Tries: Johan Grobbelaar, Madosh Tambwe, Embrose Papier, Elrigh Louw

Conversions: Chris Smith, Morne Steyn (2)

Stormers 30 (18)

Tries: Seabelo Senatla (2), Herschell Jantjies, Paul de Wet

Conversions: Manie Libbok (2)

Penalties: Libbok (2)

Teams:

Bulls

15 David Kriel, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Cornal Hendricks (captain), 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Reinhardt Ludwig, 6 Arno Botha, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp

Substitutes: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Janko Swanepoel, 20 Marcell Coetzee, 21 Zak Burger, 22 Morne Steyn, 23 Harold Vorster

Stormers

15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Salmaan Moerat (co-captain), 3 Sazi Sandi, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff (co-captain)

Substitutes: 16 Andre-Hugo Venter, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Brok Harris, 19 Adre Smith, 20 Hacjivah Dayimani, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Dan du Plessis, 23 Warrick Gelant

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