The Investec Stormers suffered another heavy blow to their chances of reaching the Super 12 semifinals when they went down 25-10 to the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday.
The Stormers had a poor first ten minutes when they couldn’t win their own ball in the lineouts, flyhalf Chris Rossouw failed with a penalty attempt at goal, handling errors were made and centre Marius Joubert just couldn’t hold on to an intercept chance.
That set the tone for the rest of the game. The poor discipline that cost them so dearly in the previous two games on tour came back to haunt them. Their inability to win their own lineout balls bugged them throughout the game and the Stormers failed to put together any meaningful phases to really be a threat on the attack.
Their tactical kicking was also poor and provided the dangerous Waratahs to run the ball back at them many times.
Now they are facing a really daunting task if they still want to qualify for the playoffs, like they did last season. The Waratahs scored three tries to the Stormers one, which came very late in the game – after the introduction of flank Luke Watson brought vigour to the Stormers’ game.
The Stormers started well enough and were first on the board after a quarter of an hour through a Chris Rossouw penalty. But the Waratahs struck back almost immediately when Morgan Tirunui, exploiting miscommunication between Barry and Joubert, scythed through to score the first try of the match.
Fullback Peter Hewat then made the Waratahs’ territorial advantage count to land two penalties, one each side of halftime, to take the score to 11-3 with 32 minutes to go.
On a night when the Stormers attacks looked like making very little headway, it was really game set and match when flanker Phil Waugh capped his excellent performance by taking a quick tap that saw him go over near the posts and extend the lead to 18-3.
Centre Tiruniu put the issue beyond doubt with a second try of his own, before Neil de Kock, the Stormers captain, grabbed one back near the final whistle.
Waratahs (25) – Tries: Morgan Turinui (2), Phil Waugh; Conversions: Peter Hewat (2); Penalties: Peter Hewat (2).
Investec Stormers (10) – Try: Neil de Kock; Conversion: Chris Rossouw; Penalty: Chris Rossouw.