Stormers 23 Cats 12

JOHANNESBURG - The Stormers survived the sin-binning of captain De Wet Barry after a head-butt to defeat the Cats 23-12 in a rain-drenched all-South African Super 14 match overnight.

The result has a special significance because the lowest-placed South African side will be replaced at the end of the season by a new franchise from Port Elizabeth called the Southern Spears.

"We don't think about that," said Cats coach Frans Ludeke. "We focus on our game and what we have to do to be successful and today we just didn't create pressure because we made too many mistakes. We just couldn't keep the ball and recycle it."

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Stormers coach Kobus van der Merwe said: "I think the local derbies will be different because it's very tight with relegation now, but tonight was as much about the conditions.

"We had some good line breaks but the weather wasn't playing ball."

Bolla Conradie took a scoring pass from number eight Adri Badenhorst in the 18th minute to score in the right hand corner and his fellow international Jean De Villiers scampered 60 metres in the 37th after intercepting a pass by Cats first five-eighths Tiaan Snyman.

De Villiers's try came immediately after centre Barry was sin-binned for blatantly head-butting replacement Cats lock Willem Stoltz in a ruck.

"We aim to pride ourselves on our discipline and although it looked very bad on replay it wasn't deliberate," said Barry.

"I was going into the ruck to clean out and there was just a clash of heads."

The Cats' points came from two penalties in each half by Snyman. Stormers' first five-eighths Peter Grant kicked three penalties and two conversions.

- REUTERS