VIDEO: Brumbies edge awful Stormers
SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Stormers suffered their fifth defeat of the season when they went down 19-17 to the Brumbies at Newlands in Cape Town.
It was a ghastly match. Any virtue at all that came from it emanated from the Brumbies.
There were 11 333 people at Newlands – 11 333 who must have regretted their folly and one wonders how many will pitch up next week, this to one of the very best-supported venues in the rugby world.
The best of Brumby virtue was their defence. They made 226 tackles to the Stormers’ 89, but even that was made easier by the endless repetition of Stormers’ bashings. One at a time forwards ran straight at opponents – no subtlety or skill, just head-down and charge. On the rare occasions when backs were used, they helped the Brumby cause by starting deep, running across the field and handling poorly. The Brumbies mowed them down.
The Brumbies, on the other hand, bashed at the Stormers’ line just once and scored a try when Tom Banks, unmarked, ambled over with a spare unmarked on his left.
The Stormers had nine kickable penalties. They kicked a penalty at goal twice – once early on and the other from over 30 metres out and 15 metres in from touch, the hardest kick of all. They missed that one. And in the end they lost by two points.
It was a weird match, though one should not take away from the flying Brumbies’ defence, the full commitment of their tackling.
But they did contribute to the negativity of the match. The word the referee used most often may well have been “Advantage”, marking yet another Brumby infringement, confident in the kowledge that the Stormers were not going to kick at goal. One felt he could have done a bit more about it.
About that and about the horde of “medics” who invaded the field at breakdown after every breakdown.
It was a super afternoon for rugby, windless and cool after overnight drizzle. The match started off in energetic fashion. 15 points were scored in just over four minutes. After 10 minutes the Brumbies led 12-3. The half-time score was 12-10, the seven coming at half-time, and then from a penalty try.
The Brumbies kicked off and the Stormers did some promising things. Then a penalty against Damian Willemse gave the Brumbies a lineout, from which they advanced in phases till tall Rory Arnold carried the ball and, grabbed, forced an overhand pass out to Pete Samu who forced his way over in the left corner, despite the efforts of Willemse and Bongi Mbonambi to stop him. 5-0 after 7 minutes.
The Stormers kicked off, the Brumbies’ hooker, Folau Fainga’a, obstructed Pieter-Stef du Toit, and Joshua Stander kicked the penalty goal.
The Brumbies kicked off and Herschel Jantjies sought to kick clear from a tackle/ruck. But tall Arnold charged the kick down, got the ball, got away from Willemse and scored. Christian Leali’ifano converted. 12-3 after 11 minutes.
The rest of the half really belonged to the Stormers. They clearly wanted to score tries but could not do so against their own lack of creativity and the Brumbies’ adamantine defence.
The Stormers thought that Salmaan Moerat had scored in a bashing session, but the TMO detected a tiny knock-on. No try.
On the stroke of half-time, Jantjies broke brilliantly and was heading for the line when Brumby left wing Toni Pulu felled him at the line. But it turned out – with the help of the TMO – that Pulu’s tackle was around the neck and so the referee recalled the Brumbies, who had meandered off for half-time, awarded a penalty try and showed Pulu a yellow card.
At half-time the Brumbies led 12-10.
After just six minutes in the second half, the Stormers got a reward for their bashings. They mauled from their fourth five-metre lineout and, on yet another advantage, Wilco Louw scored a try which Stander converted. And the Stormers led 17-12.
The Stormers did some more bashing and it seemed that Ruhan Nel had to score in the corner but Henry Speight was too quick for him and tackled him as he grounded the ball over the line. The TMO helped to decide that it was not a try has Nel had been in touch as he grounded the ball.
From a lineout lively Jantjies broke inside Joe Powell and raced towards the line. The opportunity slowed into a bashing session in which the Stormers (sic) were penalised.
The Brumbies then attacked. They did a bit of quick bashing on the right and then went wide left where Banks was able to dawdle over with Pulu unmarked further out. The scores were tied till Leali’ifano converted from far out. 19-17 with 21 minutes to play.
21 scoreless minutes.
In vain, Stander attempted the long, angled penalty kick, and then the Stormers opted for two unproductive five-metre lineouts.
Man of the Match: There are Brumby candidates – Rory Arnold who was involved in tries and lineouts, Jahrome Brown who won turnovers, and Joe Powell who led the defence and is our choice.
Tries: Penalty Try, Louw
Tries: Samu, Arnold, Banks
Con: Lealiifano 2
Yellow card: Toni Pulu (Brumbies, 40 – foul play, high tackle)
Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Joshua Stander, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Kobus van Dyk, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Ernst van Rhyn, 5 Cobus Wiese, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain).
Replacements: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Johan du Toit, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 JJ Engelbrecht, 23 Seabelo Senatla.
Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Tom Wright, 11 Toni Pulu, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Jahrome Brown, 6 Tom Cusack, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 James Slipper, 18 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Murray Douglas, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Wharenui Hawera, 23 Andy Muirhead.
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)
SUPER RUGBY LIVE: Stormers v Brumbies
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