PRETORIA (AFP) – Western Stormers continued a trend of away wins in the opening round of the Super 15 by shocking fellow South Africans Northern Bulls 29-17 Saturday in Pretoria.
New Zealand sides Wellington Hurricanes and Waikato Chiefs, Australians Melbourne Rebels and South Africans Central Cheetahs also triumphed on the road.
ACT Brumbies were the only side to win at home, thrashing Queensland Reds by 44 points in an Australian derby
The first round of the southern hemisphere inter-provincial rugby championship concludes Sunday when title-holders NSW Waratahs host Western Force in another Australian affair.
Left-wing Dillyn Leyds and No.8 and skipper Duane Vermuelen crossed the try-line for the Cape Town-based Stormers at Loftus Versfeld stadium.
Ever-dependable goal-kicker and fly-half Demetri Catrakilis converted both tries and slotted three penalties from five attempts.
Kurt Coleman, who replaced Catrakilis for the closing stages, kicked one penalty and a drop goal for a team who came closest to the title in 2010 when finishing runners-up to the Bulls.
Flanker Deon Stegmann scored the try that gave three-time champions Bulls an early lead and fly-half Handre Pollard kicked four second-half penalties for the home team, who trailed 17-5 at half-time.
Fielding three Springboks compared to the 13 of the Bulls, often poor travellers Stormers recovered from conceding a try to take a ninth-minute lead they never surrendered.
Veteran Bulls skipper and lock Victor Matfield admitted to be being “very disappointed” as Bulls lost at home having won seven matches at Loftus Versfeld last season and drawn the other.
Stegmann touched down after a Bulls driving maul off a line-out only for a blunder from full-back Jurgen Visser to gift-wrap a try for Leyds which Catrakilis converted.
Another Catrakilis penalty followed by a Vermuelen try off a superbly angled run that was converted closed the first-half scoring.
After missing three opening-half penalty attempts, Pollard kicked four penalties and Catrakilis one to reduce Stormers’ lead to 20-17 on 60 minutes.