United Rugby Championship: Stormers beat Bulls 18-13 for the inaugural title

Stormers celebrate with the URC trophy
Stormers never won Super Rugby, but they now have silverware from their maiden league campaign.
Stormers: (3) 18
Tries: Roos, Venter Con: Libbok Pen: Libbok Drop-goal: Libbok
Bulls: (7) 13
Try: Vorster Con: Smith Pens: Smith 2

After a convincing 18-13 win over the Bulls of Cape Town, the Stormers won the inaugural United Rugby Championship title.

Harold Vorster scored in the third minute to give the Bulls a lead of 7-3 at half-time, but Evan Roos responded early in the second.

Andre-Hugo Venter added another try for the hosts just after Bulls centre Cornal Hendricks had been sin-binned.

Final goal was secured by Manie Libok, fly-half.

The competition was known previously as the Pro14. was rebranded for the 2021-22 campaign After the introductions of four sides from South Africa.

The Stormers won their 11th consecutive victory. They have never been able to win the title in Super Rugby. In fact, they were defeated by Bulls in their only final in 2010.

Stormers return to lift the URC trophy

Although South African teams initially struggled against Irish, Scotland, Scotland and Italy in the URC, they won the final round and were much stronger once they got used to the northern hemisphere conditions.

Poor weather and a slippery surface made it difficult for traditional rivals to clash in the nation's big north-south contest. This was before a sold-out crowd of 31,000 at the DHL Stadium.

Pretoria-based Bulls were able to strike the first blow in just over two minutes. Johan Grobbelaar capitalized on a brief moment's confusion in Stormers defense to initiate a penetrating break and then offload to center Vorster to make a mess.

Chris Smith was the one to add the extras. The visitors looked sharper and more dangerous than the other side throughout the first half. But Libbock scored the Stormers with a penalty just before break.

Stormers fly-half Manie Libbok celebrates winning the United Rugby Championship final
Manie, the Stormers' fly-half, scored crucial kicks against Ulster in the semi-final victory over them and in the final

After a Smith penalty at start of second half, the Bulls briefly regained their seven point advantage. However, the Stormers soon tied the game.

After strong forward play, number eight Roos reached for the ball and made their first attempt in the 45th minute. Libbok converted.

Hendricks was then yellowed for a high tackle. A second Stormers attempt quickly followed. Venter, the replacement hooker, found his way to the line-out maul in just under an hour.

Smith reduced the lead by two points with a penalty in the 15th minute of the game, but Libbock’s drop goal five minutes after the time was up proved to be the winner.

After Stormers, an all-South African surprise final was set up scored a late try to defeat Ulster The Bulls stunned Leinster, Who has won the Pro14 title in each of the last four years.

The pair will play next season in the European Champions Cup alongside South African counterpart Sharks.

Stormers: Gelant; Petersen, Nel, Willemse, Senatla; Libbok, Jantjies; Kitshoff (capt), Kotze, Malherbe, Moerat, Orie, Fourie, Dayimani, Roos.

Replacements: Venter, Harris, Fouche, Van Rhyn, Pokomela, Xaba, Masimla, Mngomezulu.

Bulls: Arendse; Moodie, Hendricks, Vorster, Tambwe; C Smith, Burger; G Steenekamp, Grobbelaar, M Smith, W Steenkamp, Nortje, Coetzee (capt), Botha, Louw.

Replacements: Du Plessis, Matanzima, Hunt, Swanepoel, WJ Steenkamp, Papier, Steyn, Kriel.

Sin-bin: Hendricks (56).

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland).

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