Cheetah's win dashes Stormer's slim hopes
Despite their win, the Stormers will not continue after the Cheetah's secured a play-off in two weeks.
PORT ELIZABETH/BLOEMFONTEIN - The Stormers overcame the Kings in P.E. in a game where only pride was at stake with the Cheetah's securing a win against the Blues just minutes before.
Captain Deon Fourie scored both tries for the Stormers in a tempestuous Cape derby at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday to help his team overcome neighbours Southern Kings in their Super Rugby match.
The flanker went over at the end of both halves in a 24-12 win for the visitors as the Kings' hopes of climbing off the foot of the table evaporated in their last home match of the season.
Their ill-tempered triumph, punctuated by a series of scuffles between the teams, came after the Stormers had seen their slim hopes of a play-off spot disappear just before kick-off when the Cheetahs beat the Auckland Blues in Bloemfontein to move out of reach.
Despite the blow, their injury-hit squad still turned in a motivated performance with Fourie's pair of tries proving the difference.
His first came two minutes from the end of the first half in a pushover and the second in the 78th minute as he broke from the scrum and drove through several tackles for a fine individual effort.
Fly-half Elton Jantjies added 11 points from the boot with another penalty converted by first choice kicker Joe Pietersen, whose game time was limited by a cut on his lip that required stitches.
Kings' fly-half Dimitri Catrakilis, who moved from the Stormers last season, kicked all his team's points.
The Cheetahs moved into second place in the South African conference and will play in the quarter-finals in two weeks.
Their win pushed their points tally to 50 but they are guaranteed four more as they have a bye next weekend in the final round of the regular competition, meaning they cannot be caught by the Sharks or Stormers, who both had outside hopes of play-off progress.
The Blues are also out of the chase after a match in which they scored an early try but then spent most of the game on the back foot as they consistently lost the forward battles.
Cheetahs fly-half Riaan Smit laid the basis for his side's success with a 100 percent return from his kicks, scoring a total of 19 points.
The others came from tries scored by Phillip van der Walt midway through the first half and the substitute pair of Sarel Pretorius and Boom Prinsloo in a furious final 10 minutes for the home team.
A try after just five minutes by 21-year-old scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park, in the team in place of the injured Piri Weepu, gave the Blues a bright start but it proved one of few highlights for the New Zealanders on a cold afternoon in Bloemfontein.
Van der Walt put the Cheetahs ahead with a 22nd-minute try as he broke from the scrum, spun out of three tackles and stretched over the line to settle home hopes.
Smit's accuracy stretched the lead to 19-10 at half-time.
The two sides then traded penalties in the second half before the Cheetahs scored two more tries.
Pretorius darted through a gap after picking up a loose ball that squeezed out of a maul to score in the 73rd minute and Prinsloo was shoved over the line by his team mates in a final display of the Cheetahs' dominance just before the end.