Stormers sweep Hurricanes aside
Pietersen boots South Africans to opening victory
Last Updated: 25/02/12 6:50pm
Joe Pietersen: Kicked 21 points for the Stormers in their victory over the Hurricanes
The Stormers made a flying start to the new Super Rugby campaign as they beat the Hurricanes 39-26 at Newlands in Cape Town.
Joe Pietersen starred for the home side as he ended with a personal haul of 21 points having kicked five penalties and three conversions.
The Stormers raced out of the blocks and were ahead in the fifth minute when Gio Aplon opened the scoring with a fine piece of individualism.
The diminutive wing sold the Hurricanes' cover defence a neat dummy close to the halfway mark before racing away for a deserved try.
The Stormers continued to boss proceedings but endured a setback in the 15th minute when their inspirational captain, Schalk Burger, was forced from the pitch with a serious-looking knee injury.
Burger's exit saw the introduction of Siya Kolisi who made a real impact in the 29th minute when he scored the hosts' second try from a driving maul at a line-out.
Pietersen converted both tries and he kept the scoreboard ticking with a couple of penalties as the Hurricanes transgressed.
The visitors' poor discipline played a part in their downfall and, at one point in the first half, they were down to 13 men after props Tristan Moran and Ben May were both sin-binned.
But Hurricanes centre Tim Bateman kept his team in the match with a try on the stroke of half-time after Beauden Barrett cleverly drew in two defenders before offloading to the former Crusaders midfielder.
That brought the visitors to within seven points at 23-16 at half-time, but the sides were soon level when Barrett scored a runaway try shortly after the restart and kicked the conversion.
Despite their impressive fightback, the Hurrcanes' ill-discipline - especially at the rucks - would ultimately cost them dear and when the indiscretions were within goal-kicking range Pietersen punished them.
Shortly before the end the visitors' misery was compounded when their replacement prop Jeffery Toomaga-Allen was also sent off for a professional foul close to his side's tryline.
The foul also saw the referee award a penalty try and Pietersen sealed the win for the hosts with an easy conversion.