Weekend from hell for Stormers as Cheetahs win battle of basement

2014-04-28 00:00

IT was another weekend from hell for Allister Coetzee and his Stormers as they were soundly beaten 35-22 by the Cheetahs in the battle of the basement in Bloem­fontein on Saturday.

The Stormers were looking to keep their mini revival on track with a second win in a row after they beat the Lions at Newlands the week before, but they met a Cheetahs side who were happy to run the ball and score tries.

The two teams, who are currently involved in a bloody battle for the wooden spoon, swopped places on the log with the Cheetahs, who were bottom before the game, moving into 14th position.

The men from Cape Town had a dream start to their nightmare in Bloemfontein as flanker Nizaam Carr easily crashed over the line in the fourth minute to expose the Cheetahs’ weakness in defence.

About 10 minutes later, with the home team attacking the Stormers’ try line, Willie le Roux showed his class with a perfectly weighted cross kick for Hennie Daniller, who scored their first try as the men from Bloem looked to come back after being 10-0 down.

Three minutes later, the Cheetahs scored again, through Ryno Benjamin, who was put away by Heinrich Brussow to bring the scores level.

Naka Drotske’s men then put together 11 phases, with Raymond Rhule getting himself involved in the middle. The move eventually saw Le Roux get over the line as they scored 20 unanswered points after being 10-0 down inside 10 minutes.

The Cheetahs went into the break leading 20-10.

The Stormers seemed to stage a comeback in the second half when Devon Williams went over for a try on his Super Rugby debut after a break by skipper Jean de Villiers. In the 71st minute of the game, the Stormers looked to be coming back as they put together a number of phases only to lose the ball near the Cheetahs’ tryline. The ball made its way to Cornal Hendricks, who ran the length of the field to score the bonus point try.

Dancing prop Trevor Nyakane scored the fifth try before the Stormers captain scored the consolation try with two minutes to bring the score to 35-22, and it would remain that way until the game finished.

Earlier in the day, the Bulls’ torrid tour continued as they went down 15-9 to the Force in Perth in a game that won’t be remembered as a classic.

The Bulls, skippered by Victor Matfield on the day, lost their fourth game in a row on their tour Down Under, and they will be chomping at the chance to have a go at Loftus when they host the Cheetahs this Saturday.

Despite losing four on the trot, the Bulls remain second in the South African Conference, and they’re still in with a chance of making the play-offs as they trail the sixth-placed Waratahs by just four points. The Cheetahs, who moved off the bottom of the table into 14th place, were the only South African team to win on the weekend.

Friday’s results: Blues 21 Waratahs 13

Brumbies 41 Chiefs 23

Sharks 18 Highlanders 34

Saturday’s results: Hurricanes 35 Reds 21

Force 15 Bulls 9

Cheetahs 35 Stormers 22

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