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Error-prone Stormers go down to Cardiff

MATCH REPORT: The Stormers ended their four-week European tour with a devastating 24-31 defeat to Cardiff at Arms Park on Friday.

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The United Rugby Championship Round Six clash was highly contested, with a last-gasp try from Rhys Litterick handing Cardiff the win.

*To recap all the action CLICK HERE!!!

The Stormers were in the lead throughout the encounter – taking a 17-14 advantage at the break.

However, they failed to build on that momentum and the frantic conclusion saw them suffer their fourth consecutive defeat on the road.

John Dobson’s men started the match in fine fashion, rushing to a 14-0 lead after 20 minutes.

Hooker Andre-Hugo Venter powered over the line after a solid line-out drive for the opening try.

The Cape Town-based franchise doubled their lead as former BlitzBoks star Ruhan Nel stepped past a couple of defenders after another solid maul.

Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu converted both tries for the 14-0 lead.

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The Welsh side gradually got themselves back in the game. They finally got inside the Stormers’ half and looked dangerous. However, a turnover by Nama Xaba halted all their efforts.

The hosts eventually got on the board as a Tinus De Beer grubber was neatly collected by Gabriel Hamer-Webb for the score on debut.

De Beer added the conversion for the seven points.

Stormers replied with the penalty. But Cardiff had all the momentum.

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Captain Liam Belcher scored the team’s second try from close range. De Beer cut the deficit to three points with his conversion.

On the brink of halftime, the Stormers won a scrum penalty and opted for posts. However, the 55-metre kick was too much for centre Feinberg-Mngomezulu, leaving the Cape Town side with a 17-14 lead at the break.

The second half was full action. Stormers introduced the replacements early which saw them exert pressure through a dominant scrum.

They extended the lead to 24-14 as great interplay saw Warrick Gelant send Nel on his way for his second try of the night.

Cardiff hit back immediately, the powerful runner Mason Grady beating a couple of defenders for his well-deserved try, while De Beer levelled matters with a penalty.

With just 10 minutes on the clock, the Stormers saw the win slip through their fingers. In desperation,  they set up multiple attacks however individual errors overshadowed their efforts.

They also won a penalty and opted for the touch. But the kick did not reach the line.

It went from bad to worse for the visitors when Connor Evans was handed a yellow card for a dangerous clean-out.

In contrast, Cardiff took control of the proceedings. Ben Thomas missed the chance to land the knock-out blow by firing wide with a 45-metre penalty.

But, a knock-on by Clayton Blommetjies in his own 10-metre set up a Cardiff scrum and a last opportunity.  The hosts secured the ball and after multiple phases, Litterick went over the line. The replacement’s try was awarded following a couple of TMO replays.

De Beer added the conversion for the victory.

Man of the match: Ruhan Nel and Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu deserve a mention for their efforts. However, our nod goes to Cardiff wing Mason Grady. The No.11 was incredible. He made a couple of strong carries and beat a few defenders. He also scored a try and proved to be a handful for the Stormers’ defence.

The scorers:

For Cardiff
Tries: Hamer-Webb, Belcher, Grady, Litterick.
Cons: De Beer 4
Pen: De Beer

For Stormers:
Tries: Venter, Nel 2
Cons: Feinberg-Mngomezulu 3
Pens: Feinberg-Mngomezulu

Yellow card: Connor Evans (Stormers, 76 – dangerous clean-out)

Teams

Cardiff: 15 Cam Winnett, 14 Harri Millard, 13 Willis Halaholo, 12 Ben Thomas, 11 Mason Grady, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 Ellis Bevan, 8 Lopeti Timani, 7 Ellis Jenkins, 6 Alex Mann, 5 Rory Thornton, 4 Seb Davies, 3 Will Davies-King, 2 Liam Belcher (captain), 1 Corey Domachowski.
Replacements: 16 Evan Lloyd, 17 Rhys Carré, 18 Rhys Litterick, 19 Josh Turnbull, 20 Mackenzie Martin, 21 Jamie Hill, 22 Gabriel Hamer-Webb, 23 Jacob Beetham.

Stormers: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu, 11 Ben Loader, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Marcel Theunissen, 7 Willie Engelbrecht, 6 Nama Xaba, 5 Ruben van Heerden, 4 Adre Smith, 3 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 2 Andre-Hugo Venter, 1 Brok Harris (captain).
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Connor Evans, 20 Hendré Stassen, 21 Keke Morabe, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Warrick Gelant.

Referee: Hollie Davidson (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Dewi Phillips (Wales); Carwyn Williams (Wales)
TMO: Andrew McMenemy (Scotland)

 

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