Victor Matfield made his return to the playing field, but it was not enough to prevent the DHLStormers recording an impressive 26-19 win at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday, reports rugby365.co.za.
The Vodacom Super Rugby pre-season outing in Polokwane was a double blow for the Vodacom Bulls, who will also be concerned about another injury suffered by star loose forward Arno Botha.
It was a strong second half performance and a late try that secured the win for the Stormers, who outscored the Bulls by four tries to three.
Matfield, who made his first appearance on the playing field since the 2011 World Cup, only played the last 20 minutes.
Flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis, who scored one of their tries, also converted three of the Stormers’ five-pointers to leave his mark on the game.
Flank Siya Kolisi scored two tries - both from mauls - either side of half-time, as the Stormers clawed their way back from a 5-12 deficit at the half-time break to come away with the win in front of a vociferous Polokwane crowd.
Kolisi’s second try, in the 44th minute, saw the scores draw level at 12-12, before the home side led by 19-12 going into the final quarter.
However, Catrakilis’ try - from a powerful Stormers scrum - saw the visitors draw level yet again before new boy Scott van Breda (who came on as a replacement) scored in the corner with two minutes left on the clock.
Catrakilis converted from out wide to give his team a seven-point buffer as the clock wound down and it proved enough in the end for the Men from Cape Town.
Vodacom Bulls: Tries: Dean Greyling, Pierre Spies, Arno Botha. Conversions: Louis Fouché (2)
DHL Stormers: Tries: Siya Kolisi (2), Demetri Catrakilis, Scott van Breda. Conversions: Catrakilis (3)
- Yellow card: Francois Hougaard (Bulls, 60 - professional foul)
- Referee: Lourens van der Merwe
Golden Lions edge Vodacom Blue Bulls
Meanwhile in the curtain-raiser the Golden Lions edged the Vodacom Blue Bulls 26-24 in a match between their respective Vodacom Cup teams.
The Bulls raced into a 19-7 lead in the first half, before the Lions took control after the break - taking a 26-19 lead with just over 10 minutes remaining.
Ryan Nell scored with the last move of the match, but the conversion attempt was wide - leaving the Lions with the victory.
Blue Bulls: Tries: Jono Ross, Jesse Kriel, Piet van Zyl, Ryan Nell. Conversions: Handre Pollard (2).
Golden Lions: Tries: Ruan Lerm (2), Stokkies Hanekom, Penalty try. Conversions: Guy Cronje (3).