Stormers end Brumbies run
The Stormers made it back-to-back Super Rugby wins and ended the Brumbies unbeaten run thanks to a 35-22 victory at Newlands on Saturday.
The hosts outscored the previously undefeated tournament leaders four tries to one, with Stormers lock Andries Bekker bagging a brace while Gio Aplon and Gerhard van den Heever also crossed the whitewash.
Full-back Joe Pietersen added three conversions and three penalties for a personal tally of 15 points, whilst the Stormers defence was courageous and accurate yet again.
Brumbies centre Christian Lealiifano kept his team in the match, as they clawed their way back to just three points (22-25) at one stage in the second half having trailed the Stormers 10-22 at half-time.
However, a late Pietersen penalty and Van den Heever's bonus-point clinching try secured the valuable victory for the Stormers who are now on level points with the Bulls in the South African conference.
The first points went to the Stormers courtesy of Pietersen's boot nine minutes before Aplon exploited a gap and sidestepped his way in from 30m out for a superb solo try. Pietersen added the extras the Stormers were in a handy 10-0 lead.
Lealiifano reduced the deficit when he opened the Brumbies' scoring account with a penalty to close the gap slightly, but Bekker stretched the Stormers' advantage with his first five-pointer of the match when the Bok lock powered over from close range.
The Brumbies' backline provided a moment of brilliance in the 28th minute and winger Henry Speight ran in virtually unchallenged for a converted try to narrow the gap once again.
On the stroke of half-time, the Stormers again proved a touch too enterprising and Bekker rounded off splendidly next to the posts with a converted try to wrap up the first half as they took a 22-10 lead into the break.
Early second-half pressure saw the Stormers falling foul at the breakdowns and Lealiifano was twice on target with penalties in the opening 10 minutes to shrink the Stormers' lead to six points.
The home side clawed their way back to regain the initiative, and as the game reached the hour mark, Pietersen goaled a penalty to stretch their lead to nine points.
The Stormers had a chance to increase their lead in the final quarter but Pietersen pushed his attempt wide, while Lealiifano made good his attempt nine minutes from the end to put the tourists within striking distance of victory, just three points behind.
However, pressure from the Stormers in the final eight minutes resulted in a Van den Heever try to go with a Pietersen conversion and penalty as they wrapped up the win.
Tries: Aplon, Bekker 2, Van den Heever
Cons: Pietersen 3
Pens: Pietersen 3
Pens: Lealiifano 5
Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Gerhard van den Heever, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage , 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 De Kock Steenkamp, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Don Armand, 19 Nizaam Carr, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Damian de Allende, Jaco Taute.
Brumbies: 15 Robbie Coleman, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Fotu Auelua, 7 George Smith, 6 Ben Mowen, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Peter Kimlin, 3 Dan Palmer, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Scott Fardy, 19 Colby Faingaa, 20 Nic White/Mark Swanepoel, 21 tbc, 22 Clyde Rathbone.
Referee: Glen Jackson (NZ)