Stormers snatch 11th-hour win over Bulls in brutal, physical, pulsating, game

2012-04-03 00:00

IT was brutal, physical and pulsating, and it was the Stormers who emerged from the battle of Newlands to beat the Bulls 20-17 in a typically fierce South African Super Rugby derby on Saturday night.

The win left the Stormers as the only unbeaten team in the competition and they top the general log ahead of the Highlanders.

The Cheetahs and the Sharks both gained important and satisfying wins on their overseas tour, but the Lions, brave but often untidy, went down to the Crusaders in Johannesburg.

The Stormers, stronger in the scrum, and with the slicker, more threatening backline running on to the ball, had the better of a niggly, robust occasionally brutal first half and led 14-0.

But the Bulls, who scored two tries to one, came back firing in the second half to level the scores at 17-17 with 13 minutes remaining. It was Stormers flyhalf Peter Grant, just as he did against the Sharks in the second round, who settled the game when he kicked a pressure penalty in the 78th minute.

“It was a massive effort,” Stormers captain Jean de Villiers said. “If this game had been played at Loftus, the Bulls would probably have won. There was nothing in it.”

Coach Allister Coetzee has added four players to the Stormers’ 22 who did duty on Saturday for the tour.

“Thankfully we came away from the Bulls match without any injuries and I had no hesitation in taking them on tour,” said Coetzee.

“We decided on a 26-man tour group and Nizaam Carr, Scarra Ntubeni, Deon Carstens and JP Du Plesssis will be added to the 22 who did duty against the Bulls.”

“I was pleased with the terrific impact of the players who came off the bench on Saturday.”

The Lions were willing and competitive, but made too many silly errors in losing 23-13 to the Crusaders at Ellis Park. Butch James failed with a testing penalty after the final hooter which would have earned the Lions a deserved bonus point.

Lions coach John Mitchell complained about his side’s second-half showing.

“I thought the Crusaders deserved their win. They are an exceptional side, and they suffocated us and drilled our forward pack in the second half,” Mitchell said.

The Cheetahs ended their four-match overseas tour with a rousing 47-38 win over the Hurricanes in New Zealand. The free-flowing game produced 10 tries. The Free Staters, after a series of narrow losses, trailed 32-11 at one stage, but their beefy pack smothered the tiring Hurricanes as they scored a further 36 points to the New Zealnders’ six.

The Highlanders continued to make merry with their five wins in six games by thumping the Rebels 43-12 in Invercargill and Chiefs, with four wins in five games, remained level on points with the Highlanders in the New Zealand conference by beating the Waratahs 30-13 in Hamilton.

The champion Reds, never in the contest in Perth, stumbled to their third successive tour loss as they went down 45-19 to the Force. They have now conceded a massive 106 points n their last two games.

The Sharks held off the Brumbies 29-26 for their first Super Rugby win in Canberra in 14 years.

The Sharks, taking advantaged of a number of turnovers, ran in four tries for a five-point haul.

They were 10 points clear in the closing minutes, but their poor and inaccurate kicking out of hand provided the Brumbies with chances to counterattack and they had to hang on grimly for the win.

While the win was just reward for their courage and stern defence, they will be concerned that their attack lacked the sharpness and accuracy of previous games and their backline passing was laboured and often ill-directed.

But after last week’s heart-breaking defeat to the Waratahs in Sydney, their defence was organised and committed.

Riaan Viljoen scored two tries in the first half, while Lwazi Mvovo’s pace rounded off a move that started with a turn-over on their own try-line.

Willem Alberts crossed for the Sharks’ fourth try after strong pressure play close to the Brumbies’ try-line.

Saturday’s scores and scorers (home team first):

Brumbies 26 – Tries: Nic White, Jesse Mogg. Conversions: Christian Lealiifano (2). Penalty goals: Lealiifano (4). Sharks 29 – Tries: Riaan Viljoen (2), Lwazi Mvovo, Willem Alberts. Conversions: Frederic Michalak (3). Penalty goal: Michalak.

Lions 13 – Try: Pat Cilliers. Conversion: Butch James. Penalty goals: James (2). Crusaders 23 – Tries: Zac Guildford, Sean Maitland. Conversions: Tom Taylor (2). Penalty goals: Taylor (3).

Stormers 20 – Try: Tiaan Liebenberg. Penalty goals: Joe Pietersen (4), Peter Grant. Bulls 17 – Tries: Bjorn Basson, Wynand Olivier. Conversions: Morné Steyn (2). Penalty goal: Steyn.

Hurricanes 38 – Tries: Dane Coles, Beauden Barrett, Andre Taylor, TJ Perenara. Conversions: Barrett (3). Penalty goals: Barrett (4). Cheetahs 47 – Tries: Andries Strauss, Hennie Daniller, Rayno Benjamin, Coenie Oosthuizen (2), WP Nel. Conversions: Johan Goosen (4). Penalty goals: Goosen (3).

Force 4 5 – Tries: James Stannard, Nathan Sharpe, Ben Seymour, Samu Wara, Matt Hodgson. Conversions: David Harvey (4). Penalties: Harvey (4). Reds 19 – Tries: James Slipper, Van Humphries, Dom Shipperley. Conversions: Dallan Murphy (2).

Chiefs 30 - Tries: Robbie Robinson, Arizona Taumalolo, Liam Messam. Conversions: Aaron Cruden (3). Penalties: Cruden (3). Waratahs 13 – Tries: Tom Kingston. Conversions: Brendan McKibbin. Penalties: McKibbin (2).

Played Friday: Highlanders 43 Rebels 12

Bye: Blues

Weekend fixtures (home team first, SA times):


Rebels vs Blues, 11.40.


Hurricanes vs Sharks 9.35 am

Reds vs Brumbies, 11.40.

Force vs Chiefs 1.40 pm.


Highlanders vs Stormers 9.35 am

Cheetahs vs Lions 3.00 pm.

Bulls vs Crusaders 5.05 pm.


P W D L PD BPts Pts

Stormers 5 5 0 0 34 0 24

Highlanders 6 5 0 1 34 2 22

Brumbies 5 3 0 2 0 2 18

Chiefs 5 4 0 1 40 2 22

Bulls 5 3 0 2 81 4 20

Saders 5 3 0 2 10 2 18

Sharks 6 3 0 3 8 5 17

Hurricanes 6 3 0 3 6 4 16

Reds 6 3 0 3 -60 1 13

Waratahs 6 2 0 4 -3 5 13

Force 6 2 0 4 -18 4 12

Cheetahs 6 2 0 4 -26 4 12

Blues 5 1 0 4 -21 2 10

Lions 5 1 0 4 -27 2 10

Rebels 5 1 0 4 -58 2 10

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