The Stormers were forced to come from behind to claim a 19-18 victory over the Hurricanes in a tense Super Rugby clash at Newlands.
The Stormers were forced to come from behind to claim a 19-18 victory over the Hurricanes in a tense Super Rugby clash at Newlands on Friday.
Demetri Catrakilis converted Deon Fourie's 77th-minute try as the Stormers bounced back from a humiliating defeat in Jo'burg last week to snatch an unconvincing but nevertheless precious win before heading overseas.
It was hard justice on a Hurricanes side that outscored their hosts two tries to one and seemed to have done enough to take a rare win from their visit to the Republic.
The opening 40 minutes, characterised by a series of wasted chances by the Stormers, came to an end with the Hurricanes leading 12-6.
The home side had enjoyed the lion's share of both territory and possession for 35 minutes but contrived to make errors at vital times.
By contrast, the Canes took their chances clinically, striking twice just before half time via tries from wings Julian Savea and Cory Jane.
It was the stuff of nightmares for the Stormers faithful, who were forced to witness a similar spectacle after the break until a rolling maul in the dying moments pulled the game from the fire.
The home cruised to 6-0 lead by the end of the first quarter with fly-half Catrakilis slotting two penalties as the Capetonians built off a platform of their strong scrum although their line-out was misfiring badly.
But there would be no further points before the interval for the hosts, who either took the wrong options – such as overcooked chips – fumbled or froze when space was created out wide.
The Hurricanes simply bided their time, and then landed two sucker punches. First Conrad Smith set his team up with some midfield magic before Savea latched onto a deft grubber kick from TJ Perenara into space down the left.
Beauden Barrett added the extras to give the New Zealanders the lead for the first time and, with their tails up, the second try was soon to follow.
After a penalty was kicked into touch, Hadleigh Parkes kicked to Jane on the opposite touchline, where the veteran All Black scooped a low catch and slid over.
Barrett's conversion attempt was wide, but the Hurricanes headed to the changing rooms with a lead and a spring in their step.
Catrakilis and Barrett traded penalties to leave the Hurricanes in front at 15-9 going into the final quarter.
Catrakilis cut the deficit to just three points with 15 minutes to play, setting up a nailbiting finish.
Barrett replied in kind soon afterward however, restoring the six-point gap and forcing the Stormers to look for a try in the dying minutes.
Twice captain Jean de Villiers chose to go for the corner and his faith in his pack paid off as the blue-clad heavies rumbled over, much to the delight of the home crowd.
Catrakilis split the uprights with the conversion before the Stormers defence held firm for the remaining two minutes.
Pens: Catrakilis 4
Tries: Savea, Jane
Pens: Barrett 2
Stormers: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Jean de Villiers (c), 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 (c), 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.
Date: Friday, February 28
Kick-off: 19:10 (17:10 GMT)
Venue: Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), Marc van Zyl (South Africa)
Television match official: Deon van Blommenstein (South Africa)