Good sign as Stormers start campaign strongly

THE last time the Stormers won their first two matches of a Super Rugby campaign – in 2012 – they went all the way to the semifinals.

So Saturday’s niggly 27-16 win over the Blues at Newlands, which came on the back of a round-one 29-17 win over the Bulls at Loftus, was a good omen for the season ahead.

Coach Allister Coetzee tried to play down the significance of the win, achieved against a Blues team that was reduced to 14 men for 55 minutes after lock Hayden Triggs was red-carded for punching Stormers captain Duane Vermeulen.

But he could not hide his delight. “There is a lot we are not happy about in our game, but we also played against a team with eight All Blacks and we won it. That is pleasing,” Coetzee said.

The Stormers never fully put the dagger in and the Blues stayed in the game by refusing to play any rugby inside their own half after the break.

The Stormers suffered a heavy casualty with flank Rynhardt Elstadt out for the rest of the season with a broken fibula and torn knee ligaments.

-Craig Ray

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