Stormers see off Cheetahs
Aplon bags the only try as Stormers claim the win
Last Updated: 07/07/12 5:20pm
The Stormers retained the South African Super Rugby conference title with a 13-6 victory over the Cheetahs in heavy rain in Bloemfontein.
Gio Aplon scored the only try of the match for the Stormers, who missed out on the bonus point which would have taken them above the Chiefs in the Super 15 standings.
Peter Grant kicked six points for the victors, who were level at 3-3 at the break, while the Cheetahs' only points came courtesy of two penalties from Riaan Smit.
The Cheetahs conceded a penalty after some heavy pressure on their line and Grant opted to kick for goal, putting the Stormers in front.
The conditions worsened as the half wore on, the rain making possession rugby difficult as both sides struggled to impose themselves on the game.
The Stormers pushed Cheetahs full-back Willie le Roux into touch just in time after he broke through the visiting defence, while Smit missed with a penalty.
Smit made no mistake with another kick in the 36th minute, though, as the sides went in level at half-time.
The Stormers started the second half with purpose and their opponents were temporarily reduced to 14 when Le Roux was sin-binned for deliberate offside.
The Stormers chose the scrum, but soon won another penalty and Grant added another three points.
Smit levelled with his second kick in the 52nd minute, but straight from the kick-off the Stormers grabbed the decisive try.
Aplon was wide open from the kick ahead and gathered the ball before touching down, Grant's conversion making it 13-6.
Smit missed a 73rd-minute penalty as the Cheetahs piled on the pressure in a bid to find a way back into the match, but the Stormers stood firm to grind out victory.