The Capetonians got off to a strong start in the first half building up an encouraging 18-7 lead with Blitzbok speedster Seabelo Senatla (wing) touching down twice before the break, but they showed true grit in the second half to hold off a determined Vodacom Bulls outfit, who still held the lead with less than three minutes left to play.
The DHL Stormers' strong start and refusal to give up at the end, when the momentum clearly swung back to the home side, was the difference between the sides, while the Vodacom Bulls will be left wondering what went wrong in the first 39 minutes, when they failed to trouble the scorers.
Senatla scored the opening points of a match as early as the sixth minute with a fantastic try out wide, and Manie Libbok (flyhalf) added his first penalty goal five minutes later to hand the DHL Stormers an 8-0 lead.
The Vodacom Bulls had a shot at the posts early in the second quarter, but Chris Smith’s (flyhalf) attempt went wayward, leaving them scoreless.
Libbok added his second penalty goal minutes later and this was backed up by another five-pointer by Senatla, who gathered an accurate grubber kick from Libbok, which saw the visitors extend their lead to 18-0.
The hosts refused to give up and they were rewarded for their efforts on the stroke of halftime with a try by Johan Grobbelaar (hooker), which Smith converted to see them enter the break 18-7 down.
The Vodacom Bulls hit back hard in the second half with their structured play, with Madosh Tambwe (wing) using his raw pace to dive over in the 55th minute, which former Springbok flyhalf Morne Steyn converted to close the gap on the scoreboard to four points.
Springbok scrumhalf Embrose Papier also showed his class as he touched down from a cross kick by Steyn five minutes later, and Elrigh Louw (No 8) followed, which saw the home team leading 26-18 with 12 minutes left on the clock.
The DHL Stormers refused to lie down thought, and they hit back immediately with a try by Springbok scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies, while the visitors also had the luxury of an extra man on the field in the last few minutes as Tambwe received a yellow card for foul play.
They capitalised on this with De Wet scoring the winning try in the 78th minute, which Libbok converted to hand them a valuable 30-26 away win.
Vodacom Bulls 26 (7) - Tries: Johan Grobbelaar, Madosh Tambwe, Embrose Papier, Elrigh Louw. Conversions: Chris Smith, Morne Steyn (2).
DHL Stormers 30 (18) – Tries: Seabelo Senatla (2), Herschel Jantjies, Paul de Wet. Conversions: Manie Libbok (2). Penalty goals: Libbok (2).