De Jongh try sinks Sharks
Juan de Jongh celebrated his 50th Super Rugby cap with a vital try as the Stormers beat the Sharks 22-15 in a hard-fought South African derby at Newlands on Saturday.
The Springbok centre scored the only try of the game as the Stormers kept their hopes of making the play-offs alive after a poor start to the season.
The Stormers led 16-6 at the break thanks to a dominant display at scrum time from the home pack and an excellent try created by Jean de Villiers.
Joe Pietersen kicked the Stormers into a 9-0 lead by the end of the first half as their packed ruled the set pieces and Gary van Aswegen's astute kicking kept the Sharks pinned in their own half and in range of Pietersen's boot.
Patrick Lambie narrowed the gap on the half-hour mark to give the Sharks some reward for their best passage of play.
But the hosts' Springbok midfield combined brilliantly for the first and only try as De Villiers offloaded in the tackle to find De Jongh running a great line to slice through the defence and score with half time looming large.
The Sharks had a golden opportunity to reply just before the break but Frans Steyn butchered the chance by taking contact when he had a man on his outside.
The Stormers thus held a deserved 10-point advantage as the teams swapped ends.
The Sharks were in better shape after the break and Lambie's two penalties to Pietersen's one left the scores at 19-12 going into the final quarter.
Siya Kolisi crashed over after a rolling maul in the 70th minute, but was unable to roll off his back to get the ball on the grass. However Pietersen's fifth penalty crucially extended the lead beyond seven points.
Lambie landed one last penalty after the final hooter to save a bonus point for the visitors.
Try: De Jongh
Pens: Pietersen 5
Pens: Lambie 5
Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Damian de Allende, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Gio Aplon, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 De Kock Steenkamp, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Gerbrandt Grobler, 19 Nizaam Carr, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Cheslin Kolbe.
The Sharks: 15 Francois Steyn, 14 Sean Robinson, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Keegan Daniel (c), 7 Ryan Kankowski, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Anton Bresler, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Riaan Viljoen, 22 Odwa Ndungane.
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman (South Africa), Marc van Zyl (South Africa)
Television match official: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)