Stormers give Juarno Augustus a hug after 'Fleck' blunder costs them rare win at Loftus

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Juarno Augustus drops the ball over the try-line. (Gallo Images)
Juarno Augustus drops the ball over the try-line. (Gallo Images)
  • The Stormers gave Juarno Augustus some support after his blunder over the try-line cost his team a rare win at Loftus over the Bulls.
  • The No 8's mistake reminded one of Robbie Fleck's infamous botched try in the 2001 Super Rugby campaign, when Deon Kayser surprised him from behind.
  • Labeeb Levy, the Stormers' head coach for the match, said Augustus deserved solace, particularly because he delivered a good performance overall.

The fact that it was merely a competitive warm-up game made it easier to stomach, but the Stormers still felt compelled to provide Juarno Augustus some solace after his blunder cost his team a potential victory over the Bulls at Loftus on Friday night.

The bulky eighthman did brilliantly to round off a decent, injury-time maul by stepping inside Bulls centre Cornal Hendricks and streaking in over the try-line.

But he arguably ran two pace too far and bafflingly dropped the ball before dotting down, leaving the Stormers to contemplate what might've been in a 29-34 defeat.

READ | Bulls put five tries past Stormers in a thrilling Loftus win

Augustus' mistake immediately reminded discerning rugby fans of a milder repeat of Robbie Fleck's infamous wasted try when he ambled and got tackled by Deon Kayser in 2001's Super Rugby campaign.

"I gave 'Trokkie' (Augustus' nickname) a hug, and I told him you take the good with the bad, and you die with your boots on," Labeeb Levy, the Stormers' head coach for the game, said afterwards.

"It's not the first time it’s happened – it's happened to Jeff Wilson, it's happened to Robbie Fleck. It’s something I'm definitely going to remember when I sit as a 65 or 80 year old around the fire, and just reminisce about what could have been – or what should have been!"

Levy, however, acknowledged that the Capetonians' coaching staff still had a responsibility to have a proper debriefing with Augustus, who's seemingly fragile confidence of the past few months need not be dented because of one howler. 

After all, the talented former World Rugby Junior Player of the Year delivered a good performance.

"I think it’s important for us as coaches to give him support, because he’s young, and he has also stepped up. And he had one of his better performances compared to previous matches," said Levy.

Another contentious incident in a seesawing contest was the penalty try - which proved the Bulls' winning score - after Stormers centre Ruhan Nel was yellow carded for a deliberate knockdown.

While there could be no quibbling over Nel's punishment, it was highly debatable whether Hendricks' pass to replacement prop Jan-Hendrik Wessels was a scoring one.

Levy was philosophical though.

"The Bulls got the line-break, so it probably should've been converted into a try anyway," he said.

"I don't believe Ruhan put out a hand intentionally, but if he'd caught it it might've been a penalty try anyway because he would've probably been off-side. 

"I can't really debate it." 

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