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Super Rugby: Stormers outmuscle Cheetahs
The Stormers closed the deficit on the sixth-placed Cheetahs to four points after defeating their Bloemfontein visitors 28-3 on Saturday.
It was a must-win Super Rugby fixture for the Cape Town franchise and while they claimed the victory, questions will be asked of why they didn't push for the try bonus-point earlier than they did.
As it was their late surge saw them score tries in the 65th and 70th minute - via Siya Kolisi and Bryan Habana respectively - following Deon Fourie's first-half five-pointer off a driving maul.
The Stormers' remaining fixtures are against the Kings (away) and finally the Bulls at this venue as their season continues to hang by a thread.
For Naka Drotske's charges however, they know that victory over the Blues next weekend would guarantee them a spot in the play-offs as they have a bye week in Super Rugby's final round.
It was a dismal first-half as a spectacle as both sides rarely threatened the try-line, with Riaan Smit and Joe Pietersen trading a shot apiece at goal in the opening half-hour at Newlands.
The Stormers would strike soon after however as the driving maul trend in South Africa on Saturday transferred to Cape Town, with Fourie crossing for a converted to make it 10-3.
The visitors were struggling for any momentum to build their attacking flair that has seen them thrill the masses this season, as Willie le Roux and Robert Ebersohn were silenced.
Subsequently the Stormers' strong defence continued to eke out points for full-back Pietersen, who made it 16-3 with two more penalties by the 54th minute.
Man-of-the-match Kolisi would then strike for a score that put the game to bed as he broke through for an impressive individual try before Habana made it 28-3 with ten minutes to play.
But the Stormers could not manage to cross for that all-important fourth score as they had ultimately left the charge too late at Newlands, with big efforts needed in the coming weeks.
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|Friday 13th February|
|06:35||Crusaders vs Melbourne Rebels|
|08:40||Brumbies vs Reds|
|17:10||Lions vs Hurricanes|
|Saturday 14th February|
|06:35||Blues vs Chiefs|
|15:05||Sharks vs Cheetahs|
|17:05||Bulls vs Stormers|
|Sunday 15th February|
|06:05||Waratahs vs Western Force|
|Friday 20th February|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Brumbies|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Waratahs|
|17:10||Bulls vs Hurricanes|
|Saturday 21st February|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Crusaders|
|08:40||Reds vs Western Force|
|15:05||Stormers vs Blues|
|17:10||Sharks vs Lions|
|Friday 27th February|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Reds|
|11:00||Western Force vs Hurricanes|
|17:10||Cheetahs vs Blues|
|Saturday 28th February|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Crusaders|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Brumbies|
|15:05||Bulls vs Sharks|
|17:10||Lions vs Stormers|
|Friday 6th March|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Highlanders|
|08:40||Brumbies vs Western Force|
|Saturday 7th March|
|06:35||Blues vs Lions|
|08:40||Reds vs Waratahs|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com