The DHL Stormers registered a gutsy 19-18 Vodacom Super Rugby victory over the Hurricanes at DHL Newlands on Friday night.
A late converted try – scored by Deon Fourie and converted by Demetri Catrakilis – secured the victory for the hosts, who trailed the Hurricanes by 6-12 at half-time.
The ‘Canes from New Zealand scored two tries to one and were leading 18-12 going into the final five minutes of the match.
However, the DHL Stormers showed great guts and a never-say-die attitude to keep the pressure on the ‘Canes and eventually secure the vital victory in front of a loyal crowd of 31,814 at DHL Newlands.
Fourie’s try, in the 77th minute, was scored near the right-hand corner after a controlled and powerful rolling maul near the ‘Canes goalline, but Catrakilis showed nerves of steel to land the crucial conversion from out wide.
The Stormers were forced to make their tackles as the visitors took the game back into the home team’s half during injury-time, but they knocked the ball on after a few phases as the DHL Stormers grabbed a morale-boosting win ahead of their upcoming four-game tour of Australasia.
“Credit to the Hurricanes, they made it tough for us out there tonight,” said DHL Stormers captain Jean de Villiers afterwards.
“We had a very tough week, some harsh words were spoken, but we picked up a crucial win ahead of our tough tour – we’re grateful for it, but know we need to keep improving as the tournament progresses.”
The DHL Stormers will depart for New Zealand on Sunday, with games against the Crusaders, Chiefs, Brumbies and Reds on successive weekends.
For the DHL Stormers:
Pens: Catrakilis 4
For the Hurricanes:
Tries: Savea, Jane
Pens: Barrett 2
Stormers: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Gio Aplon, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Rynhardt Elstadt, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Pat Cilliers, 19 Michael Rhodes, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Ryno Eksteen.
Hurricanes: 15 Marty Banks, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Jack Lam, 6 Faifili Levave, 5 Mark Reddish, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 John Schwalger, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu’u, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 19 James Broadhurst, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Alapati Leiua, 23 James Marshall.
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), Marc van Zyl (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommenstein (South Africa)