Match of the Day: Year of Stormers strike-out
WATCH as the Stormers host the Highlanders in the 1999 Super Rugby semifinal at Newlands.
It was not the first time a home team lost and it would not be the last time an away team won in a play-off match.
However, this match was notable more for the drama in the build-up than the actual fixture.
On the eve of the semifinal the Stormers players had gone on strike for more money (match bonuses).
At the heart of this upheaval was current SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos – who played at centre for the Stormers at Newlands, on 23 May 1999.
Timely intervention from a Cape Town businessman saw the strike called off, but the players’ minds were not on the game.
The Reds finished top of the standings after the league phases and hosted the fourth-placed Crusaders. The Crusaders won 28-22 to advance to the Final.
The Stormers, who finished second on 36 points (the same as the Reds, but second on points differential) hosted the third-placed Highlanders.
The visitors, more focussed and determined, won (33-18) in convincing fashion and went on to host the Crusaders in the Final.
On May 30 the Crusaders won 24-19 in Dunedin – to date still the only team to have finished lower than second on the standings and won the competition.
Sources: APSM & Real Rugby