The Vodacom Stormers on Saturday recorded the second victory of the overseas leg of their Vodacom Super 14 campaign when they beat the Waratahs 16-10 in Sydney on Saturday.
At halftime the Stormers led 3-0 in a game that didn’t give the spectators much to get excited over in the first 20 minutes. Thereafter the players upped the ante and produced some entertaining rugby.
The match was played in wet and windy conditions and that contributed to the myriad of mistakes on both sides. The Stormers made most of the play in the first half and enjoyed territorial advantage. They, however, could not finish some promising moves.
The Stormers lifted the quality of their game in the second half and they had the defence at sixes and sevens at times. The Stormers defence was solid and that definitely played a huge part in this win.
The struggling Waratahs had their best chance in the 23rd minute when they attacked strongly through the backs, but outside centre Lote Tiquri’s pass to Sam Norton-Knight was poor and the wing couldn’t get to the ball.
The Waratahs had the better start to the second half when fullback Peter Hewat slotted a penalty goal in the 44th minute to draw the teams level.
In the 47th minute Waratahs flyhalf Kurtley Beale transgressed at a ruck and Grant succeeded with his second penalty to hand the lead back to his side (6-3).
Shortly thereafter the Stormers showed good character by repelling a strong rolling maul from a lineout five metres out by the Waratahs pack and getting the input at the subsequent scrum. The lineout came about after a kick from Grant was partially charged won.
The Stormers had the ball over the try-line in the 55th minute after sustained pressure on the home side. Jean de Villiers dived over at the corner flag with two tacklers trying to stop the big centre.
The referee referred the decision to the Television Match Official, who ruled that De Villiers lost the ball forward.
In the 59th minute the Stormers were not to be denied however. From a ruck Bolla Conradie fed Breyton Paulse, who sent captain Luke Watson away. The flank darted around replacement flank Wycliff Palu before accelerating to the try-line. Grant added two to make the score 13-3.
The flyhalf slotted another penalty in the 66 minute after the Waratahs were penalized at ruck time (16-3).
The Waratahs ensured a cliffhanger end to the game when they received a penalty try in the 73rd minute. Dylan des Fountain, who replaced Corné Uys early in the second half at wing, tried to intercept a pass to Tiquri close to his own try-line, but knocked the ball forward.
Referee Lyndon Bray deemed it cynical and had no hesitation in awarding the penalty try. Hewat converted to make the score 16-10 with five minutes left on the clock. The Waratahs tried their best to score the winning points in the remainder of the game, but the determined Stormers had no problem in riding out the challenge.
The Cape franchise now take on the imposing Crusaders in Christchurch next weekend, buoyed by the win on Saturday.
Waratahs – Tries: Penalty Try; Conversions: Peter Hewat; Penalties: Peter Hewat (1).
Vodacom Stormers – Tries: Luke Watson; Conversions: Peter Grant (1); Penalties: Peter Grant (3).