Fly-half Robert du Preez was the 23-point star as Western Stormers battered Northern Bulls 33-9 Saturday to complete dream Super Rugby debuts for him and his twin brothers.
Try-scorer Jean-Luc du Preez and fellow loose forward Daniel du Preez excelled as Coastal Sharks trounced Southern Kings 43-8 a few hours earlier in Port Elizabeth.
The three brothers — sons of former Springbok scrum-half Robert du Preez — were making Super Rugby debuts as the expanded 18-team championship kicked off this weekend.
Robert du Preez, 22, who is two years older than Jean-Luc and Daniel, was voted man of the match after scoring a try and kicking three conversions and four penalties.
He did not miss a shot at goal at Newlands stadium in Cape Town, although one penalty soared so high it was referred to the TV match official before being confirmed.
Lock Eben Etzebeth and replacement hooker Scarra Ntubeni scored a try each for Stormers, who led 9-6 at half-time after an arm-wrestle opening half.
Bulls fly-half Francois Brummer, playing in place of long-term injury victim Handre Pollard, slotted three penalties from his three shots at goal before a 40,000 crowd.
“It was a tough first half and we did not play in the desired areas,” admitted Du Preez. “We got some momentum going in the second half.
“The first half plan was to play for territory, and to keep the ball in hand once we crossed the halfway line during the second half.
“I am proud of what my brothers achieved with the Sharks today and look forward to facing them soon.”
Stormers co-captain and tighthead prop Frans Malherbe added: “We had the edge at the scrums and that helped get us out of trouble in our half a few times.”
Bulls skipper and hooker Adriaan Strauss had no excuses: “The Stormers were worthy winners, but we contributed to our defeat by losing a few vital second-half line-outs.
“We played well at stages, but often in the wrong areas of the field, and the Stormers pinned us down in our half too often during the second half.”
Du Preez edged the first-half penalty battle against Brummer by three to two, earning the Cape Town outfit a three-point advantage by the break.
The fly-halves slotted a further penalty each before the first try arrived on 51 minutes with a Du Preez dummy and roll-over enabling him to dot down.
Any hopes three-time Super Rugby champions Bulls had of a comeback were shattered just past the hour mark when Etzebeth powered across the try-line for another converted try.
Ntubeni struck two minutes from time after an unstoppable driving maul off a line-out left the Bulls defence bewildered.