Lukhanyo Am's side led 10-7 at halftime thanks to a drop goal by Curwin Bosch after Aphelele Fassi (Cell C Sharks fullback) and Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers scrumhalf) scored a try apiece.
The second half produced all the ingredients of a full-blooded South African derby, however, with the newly assembled home pack standing their ground superbly against the visitors’ much praised forward combination.
With their forward holding their own, the Cell C Sharks’ potent backline became more of a threat as the game progressed.
Replacement scrumhalf Paul de Wet was on hand to receive a pass from the impressive DHL Stormers No 8, Juarno Augustus, to go over for the visitors’ second try which briefly handed them the lead at 14-13.
However, two more penalty goals by Bosch (flyhalf) and a try near the end by their talisman finisher Makazole Mapimpi sealed a well-deserving victory for the Durban outfit. The Cell C Sharks thus consolidated their spot at the top of the South African Conference and the overall tournament standings.
Less than an hour before kick-off, Sanzaar confirmed the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament will be suspended at the conclusion of the round due to rising concerns around the coronavirus pandemic.
The Jaguares will host the Highlanders later this evening – behind closed doors – while the Brumbies will face the Waratahs on Sunday. Following that, the tournament will be put on hold for an indefinite period.
Cell C Sharks 24 (10) – Tries: Aphelele Fassi, Makazole Mapimpi. Conversion: Curwin Bosch. Penalty goals: Bosch (3). Drop goal: Bosch.
DHL Stormers 14 (7) – Tries: Herschel Jantjies, Paul de Wet. Conversions: Damian Willemse (2).