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Archie Hughes of Scarlets, right, tackles Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu of the Stormers in the United Rugby Championship game at Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch on Saturday. Picture: BACKPAGEPIX/NIC BOTHMA
Archie Hughes of Scarlets, right, tackles Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu of the Stormers in the United Rugby Championship game at Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch on Saturday. Picture: BACKPAGEPIX/NIC BOTHMA

The Stormers’ strong start to their United Rugby Championship (URC) campaign continued when they destroyed the Scarlets 52-7 at a windy Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch on Saturday.

The Stormers, who finished the previous campaign in the URC as runners-up to Munster, have secured consecutive victories. They kicked off their season with an emphatic victory against the Lions in Johannesburg a week earlier and produced a similar performance against the Welsh team.

The Stormers, who won the tournament in the 2021/22 season, scored eight tries, while their visitors managed just one.

Marcel Theunissen (2), Paul de Wet (2), Clayton Blommetjies, Ben Loader, Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu and Courtnall Skosan scored for the Stormers. Blommetjies and Feinberg-Mngomezulu shared the kicking duties.

The Scarlets’ only try was scored by Kieran Hardy in the first half.

The Welsh team will hope for a better result when they play their first home game of the season against Cardiff next weekend as their short tour of SA has been a tough one. They returned without a single losing bonus point after they were smashed 63-21 by the Bulls last week.

The Stormers scored five tries in the first half through Theunissen (2), De Wet, Blommetjies and Loader as the hosts led 31-7 at halftime. The hosts opened the scoring after eight minutes, when Theunissen crossed the whitewash with a quick tap and play.

Hardy scored Scarlet’s try after 16 minutes, with Theunissen having already touched down twice.

The hosts continued with their excellent display in the final stanza, scoring three more tries as De Wet completed his brace on 42 minutes, while the impressive Feinberg-Mngomezulu also scored on 58 minutes. Debutant Skosan added his name to that of the try-scorers when he went over with eight minutes to play.

The Sharks suffered another defeat on the road when they lost 34-13 to Leinster in Dublin. The Durban-based franchise are on a four-week European tour and have lost two of their four matches so far. 

The Sharks, who are still trying to find their feet under the leadership of new coach John Plumtree, could only manage one try, compared with Leinster’s five. Jordan Larmour, Max Deegan, Rob Russell (2) and Tomy O’Brien scored the tries for Leinster, while Dylan Richardson scored for the Sharks. 

The Lions began their European tour with a narrow 17-16 defeat to the Sean Everitt-coached Edinburgh in Scotland. 

The Sharks and Lions have opened their season with consecutive defeats, and will be hoping to turn their fortunes around in the third round. The Lions travel to Italy next week to face Benetton, while the Sharks head to Wales to face Ospreys. 

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