Investec Stormers scored twice in 10 minutes after halftime and held out the Queensland Reds 21-20 on Saturday to move into second place in the eighth round of the Super 12 rugby competition.
Queensland led 15-6 at halftime and scored three tries against two, but Chris Rossouw’s kicking was the difference for the South Africans.
He landed three penalties and a conversion to complement second-half tries by Marius Joubert and Quinton Davids, while Reds pivot Tim Walsh landed a penalty and a conversion from six attempts.
Queensland had an attacking lineout a meter out from the tryline five minutes from fulltime and a scrum 10 meters out a minute later but couldn’t capitalize and slumped to 2-5 from seven matches. The Reds have almost no chance of reaching the semifinals.
Fullback Chris Latham said the narrow loss was typical of Queensland’s season.
“When we did the basics well, we got good go-forward,” he said.
“But we started to panic in the end, and went away from the pattern – that’s what kills us every week.”
Joubert swooped on a dropped ball and ran 40 meters unopposed to score under the posts five minutes after half time and Rossouw converted to close the gap to 15-13.
Davids crossed in the 50th minute, again from a Queensland handling error in mid field, barging over to give the Stormers an 18-15 advantage Rossouw increased the lead to six points with a penalty in the 61st minute before the Reds hit back from the restart with Peter Hynes crossing out wide to reduce the margin to one.
The Reds dominated possession in the last quarter but failed to find the winning points.
In the opening minutes, Rossouw and Walsh traded penalties as the Stormers took a 6-3 lead before the Reds crossed twice in the last seven minutes via rookie center Drew Mitchell and Wallabies winger Wendell Sailor to take a nine-point buffer at half time.
Scorers: Reds 15: Tries by Drew Mitchell (32 min), Wendell Sailor (38 min). Tim Walsh kicked a conversion and a penalty.
Investec Stormers 21: Tries by Marius Joubert (47 min) and Quinton Davids (53 min). Chris Rossouw kicked a conversion and three penalties.