Swiel gives Stormers another late winner
RAINBOW CUP SA MATCH REPORT: Replacement flyhalf Tim Swiel landed a penalty three minutes from time to secure the Stormers a crucial second win.
The teams scored three tries each, but Swiel’s boot saw the Stormers edge a nailbiter 25-22 and wet and testing conditions in Durban.
It was the Stormers second consecutive away win, after having lost their first two matches – both at home.
The result also saw them overtake the Sharks at second place in the standings.
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The Stormers led 12-10 at the break following a brace of tries through Edwill van der Merwe (left wing), with Abner van Reenen (flyhalf) slotting one conversion.
Sharks prop Retshegofaditswe Nche scored the first try of the match, which Curwin Bosch (flyhalf) converted in addition to a long-range penalty goal.
The Stormers’ experienced front row failed to fire for much of the first half, but they managed to shift into a higher gear towards the end of the opening spell to give their side a solid platform and to wrestle the initiative and lead away from the home team.
While it was the Sharks who dominated possession and territory for much of the first half, they failed to translate those advantages into clear cut scoring opportunities.
They made far too many errors when on attack while they also could not handle the visitors properly at the breakdown.
The Durbanites drew first blood when Bosch slotted a long-range penalty goal to go 3-0 up. With the home team enjoying possession and territory, it was just reward when Nche planted the ball behind the goal line after several strong surges by the home pack. Bosch easily converted to hand his side a deserved 10-0 lead.
The Stormers were their own worst enemy in the opening 20 minutes by conceding seven penalties, which allowed the home side to enjoy most of the initiative on attack.
Van der Merwe grabbed the visitors’ first try through a superb solo effort when he collected the ball in his own half to switch on the turbo and beating several defenders on his way to the try line. Van Reenen converted to close the gap to 10-7.
The diminutive speedster was at it again five minutes before the break when he was on hand to gather a pass from Springbok fullback Damian Willemse to score out wide. This unconverted try gave the men from the Cape the lead for the time while the score also signalled the swing in dominance in favour of the visitors.
The Stormers started the second half in the best possible way when towering Springbok loose forward Pieter-Steph du Toit ran in from 40 meters out for his side’s third try, which Van Reenen converted (19-10).
However, the home response was swift through a cleverly executed try scored by left wing Yaw Penxe, with Jaden Hendrikse (No 9) and Siya Kolisi (flank) prominent in the build-up.
The KwaZulu-Natalians then were fortunate to score again via a converted Aphelele Fassi (fullback) try. Van Reenen failed to complete a pass, with Fassi reacting the quickest to kick the ball ahead, gather and score under the posts. That converted try handed the lead back to the home team with the score at 22-19 in their favour.
Second-half replacement Swiel (on for Van Reenen) then proceeded to succeed with his first penalty goal attempt to draw the teams level at 22-22 before kicking over the winning field goal towards the end.
Man of the match: Lukhanyo Am provided the leadership and backline direction, while Siyamthanda Kolisi had a couple of moments – including setting up a sublime try. Thembelani Bholi was his team’s most productive forward. Marvin Orie was invaluable for the Stormers, especially in the line-outs, while Edwill van der Merwe showed his value with two crucial tries. Our award goes Springbok loose forward Pieter-Steph du Toit – carrying, tackling and jumping in the line-out as if he was never away from the game. Still class!
For the Sharks
Tries: Nche, Penxe, Fassi
Cons: Bosch 2
For the Stormers
Tries: Van der Merwe 2, Du Toit
Cons: Van Reenen 2
Pens: Swiel 2
Yellow card: Sibusiso Nkosi (Sharks, 68 – repeated infringement, killing the ball at the tackle)
Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Marius Louw, 11 Yaw Penxe, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 JJ van der Mescht, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Fez Mbatha, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Ruben van Heerden, 20 Phepsi Buthelezi, 21 Sanele Nohamba, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Werner Kok
Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Abner van Reenen, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Willie Engelbrecht, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain).
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Ernst van Rhyn, 20 Adre Smith, 21 Juarno Augustus, 22 Paul de Wet, 23 Tim Swiel.
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant referees: Cwengile Jadezweni, Ashleigh Murray-Pretorius
TMO: Stuart Berry
- Additional reporting by @rugby365com