Stormers edge Kings
The Stormers bashed and crashed their way to a 19-11 Super Rugby victory over the Kings at a cold and soaking wet Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday.
The sides scored a try each - both from rolling mauls in the second half - in a game void of any real excitement baring a late flourish from the visitors.
The miserable conditions meant that neither side was willing to risk playing expansive rugby and a dour first half ended with the Stormers leading 6-3.
As has been the case in most of their games this year, the Kings were forced to work very hard on defence as the Stormers enjoyed the lion's share of territory and possession. But the home side's continued inability to create space or opportunities for their outside backs had the sparse, shivering crowd frustrated.
Two penalties from full-back Joe Pietersen saw the Stormers take a 6-0 lead after ten minutes but Kings fly-half George Whitehead - a late substitution for Demetri Catrakilis - landed a penalty for the Kings to narrow the gap on the quarter-hour mark. The scorers were not troubled again before half time as neither side seriously threatened the try-line.
The trend continued after the break as Pietersen and Whitehead each doubled their tallies to leave the hosts leading 12-6 heading into the final quarter.
The Stormers eventually found their way over the whitewash in the 63rd minute thanks to a trademark line-out and maul with flank Deon Fourie the man to touch down.
Pietersen added the extras to put the Stormers 13 points clear and with that the result was as good as settled.
The Kings showed the fighting spirit that has characterised their season and struck back in the final ten minutes as flank Wimpie van der Walt crashed over at the back of a maul.
The Conversion was missed however, denying the Kings a losing bonus point.
Pens: Pietersen 4
Try: van der Walt
Pen: Whitehead 2
Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Jean de Villiers (capt), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Deon Fourie, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Gerbrandt Grobler, 19 Don Armand, 20 Dewaldt Duvenage, 21 Gary van Aswegen, 22 Gerhard van den Heever.
Kings: 15 SP Marais, 14 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Andries Strauss (c), 11 Marcello Sampson, 10 George Whitehead, 9 Nicolas Vergallo, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Wimpie van der Walt, 6 Cornell du Preez, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Darron Nell, 3 Kevin Buys, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Hannes Franklin, 17 Grant Kemp, 18 Rynier Bernado, 19 Devin Oosthuizen, 20 Shaun Venter, 21 Shane Gates, 22 Daniel Adongo.