In a nail-biting Vodacom United Rugby Championship encounter at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, the DHL Stormers pipped the Vodacom Bulls towards the end of the 80 minutes to claim a 26-30 victory.
The defeat for the Vodacom Bulls ended a run of 24 unbeaten games at Fortress Loftus under the tutelage of director of rugby, Jake White.
The home side had a slow start while the visiting Capetonians began the game on the front foot with a dominant performance in the opening 40 minutes where they led 0-18 until the Vodacom Bulls responded with a try just before referee, Jaco Peyper, blew the half-time whistle.
White did not hesitate to ring the changes as the sides returned from break, bringing in a number of his experienced men from the bench. The decision had an instant impact as the second half substitutes turned the game on its head with the home team forging a gallant fightback.
With under 10 minutes left on the clock, the Vodacom Bulls had managed to claw their way back into the game with a 26-23 lead.
The Vodacom Bulls’ hard-fought points came via tries from Johan Grobbelaar, Madosh Tambwe, Embrose Papier and Elrigh Louw, while Morne Steyn converted twice to add to an earlier conversion from Chris Smith.
The DHL Stormers points came through a brace from Seabelo Senatla, with Herschel Jantjies also dotting down while Manie Libbok converted twice and added two penalties. It was Paul de Wet’s late try that broke hearts at Loftus and secured the win for the visitors.
The Vodacom Bulls will now begin preparations for the Jukskei derby where they will face provincial rivals, Emirates Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday.
VODACOM BULLS (7) 26
Tries: Johan Grobbelaar, Madosh Tambwe, Embrose Papier, Elrigh Louw
Conversions: Chris Smith, Morne Steyn (2)
DHL STORMERS (18) 30
Tries: Seabelo Senatla (2), Herschel Jantjies, Paul de Wet
Conversions: Libbok (2)
Penalties: Libbok (2)