Stormers kept their play-off hopes alive with a 31-18 win over the Sunwolves in a scrappy affair at Newlands.
It might be a victory for the Cape Town-based franchise, however, it was not the kind of performance that would have silence critics.
Hampered with a stack of injuries and desperate to book a quarterfinal spot the Stormers failed to secure a bonus-pints win.
The side scored four tries courtesy of Craig Barry, Bongi Mbonambi and a brace from Jaco Coetzee.
While fullback and dangerman Semisi Masirewa scored the Sunwolves’ two tries.
The Sunwolves drew first blood with the boot of Sunwolves flyhalf Hayden Parker, who took them 3-0 up after the opening 10 minutes.
It was an untidy affair in front of 8337 spectators at Newlands. The Stormers failed to assert themselves against a struggling Sunwolves team, who recorded 13 losses in 15 matches
Nonetheless, as per usual, the hosts reverted to their tried-and-tested and got on the board. Utilising their maul, Bongi Mbonambi powered through for the five-pointer. Jean Du Plessis added the extras for the 7-3 lead after 15 minutes.
The Sunwolves had a period of possession, just before Dan Kriel ripped the ball on halfway. The centre handed it to his partner JJ Engelbrecht, who shifted it wide to Craig Barry and the wing scored in the corner. Again du Plessis made sure to slot over the conversion, 14-3.
Sunwolves narrowed the deficit just before the break with another three points from New Zealander Parker.
The Stormers were the first one to score in the second half. A chip kick from Jano Vermaak was chased down by Barry and No.8 Jaco Coetzee made a good run before dummying his way over for the try. Du Plessis added the conversion, 21-6.
The Sunwolves finally got over the try line, with fullback Semisi Masirewa running a good angle to score under the poles, but the Stormers responded immediately with a penalty from replacement flyhalf Josh Stander to make it 24-13 heading into the final 15 minutes.
Coetzee got his second try from a powerful driving maul, but the Sunwolves hit straight back with a second from Masirewa.
The Sunwolves travel to Buenos Aries to take on Jagueras in the final round.
While Stormers host the Sharks in a must-win at Newlands on Saturday.
Man of the match: In a game this boring and of such poor quality, not many players put their hands up. However, one man that stood head and shoulders above the rest was the Jaco Coetzee.
Tries: Mbonambi, Barry, Coetzee 2
Cons: Du Plessis 4
Tries: Masirewa 2
Pens: Parker 2
Stormers: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Craig Barry, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Jaco Coetzee, 7 Johan du Toit, 6 Ernst van Rhyn, 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain).
Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 David Meihuizen, 20 Chris Massyn, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Josh Stander, 23 EW Viljoen.
Sunwolves: 15 Semisi Masirewa, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Josh Timu, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Hosea Saumaki, 10 Hayden Parker (captain), 9 Jamie Booth, 8 Ben Gunter, 7 Shuhei Matsuhashi, 6 Ryota Hasegawa, 5 Tom Rowe, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Conan O’Donnell, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Alex Wooton.
Replacements: 16 Takuya Kitade, 17 Matasaka Mikama, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Yuya Odo, 20 Masakatsu Nishikawa, 21 Keisuke Uchida, 22 Timothy Lefaela, 23 Akihito Yamada.
Referee: AJ Jacobs (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa)
TMO: Christie du Preez (South Africa)
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