A last-second drop-goal from Jaco Taute helped the Stormers to a 21-19 win over the table-topping Sharks in Durban on Saturday.
A last-second drop-goal from Jaco Taute helped the Stormers to a 21-19 victory over the table-topping Sharks at Kings Park in Durban on Saturday.
It had looked like the Sharks would hold on for an uninspiring 18-19 victory. However, up stepped the visiting full-back in the closing stages and with a penalty advantage being played to win the game for the Capetonians, he made no mistake with his drop.
As mentioned it was a poor game and the opening half slotted into that bracket as both sides refused to run and instead opted to kick most of their possession away, thus creating a dour contest.
Only a 40th minute Cobus Reinach try came as entertainment as before that it was a place-kicking battle between Francois Steyn and Kurt Coleman.
Steyn had opened the scoring in the fourth minute when Stormers second-row Ruan Botha was offside at ruck time and things would get worse for the visiting side six minutes later as flank Nizaam Carr was yellow carded for a high tackle on Reinach, which ended with him throwing him to the floor.
From that Carr offence, Steyn doubled the Sharks' lead before Coleman was on-target after outside centre S'bura Sithole was caught not retreating.
Coleman levelled matters on 25 minutes but the hosts wouldn't have to wait long before they recovered the lead, this time following offside in midfield.
The Stormers fly-half would reply seven minutes from the break but with the clock having run its course in the half, then came the moment the Kings Park faithful had been waiting for. Reinach was the man to dive over following Sithole's strong carry before the extras made it 9-16 at the break.
Coleman cut the lead to just four points four minutes after the interval after the Sharks infringed at the breakdown, but it was shortlived as the Sharks and Steyn made it 12-19 when winger Sailosi Tagicakibau was caught accidentally offside. Normal kicking service had unfortunately resumed.
The margin would yet again be reduced though, this time via replacement Demetri Catrakilis, as he sent over three points following Reinach being penalised for lifting Cheslin Kolbe past the horizontal. The away fly-half made no mistake while Reinach was left relieved at avoiding any card due to not dropping Kolbe.
Catrakilis further cut the arrears nine minutes later but not before Sharks flanker Marcell Coetzee was shown yellow card for foul play – it wasn't how he would've liked his 50th game for the franchise to be remembered as he watched his side keep the Stormers at bay at 18-19 during his time off.
In fact Steyn had the chance to push his charges back into a four-point cushion but missed an opportunity on 70 minutes. And it would not come back to haunt the hosts as the Sharks could not hold on for their eleventh victory of the campaign as instead the Stormers claimed their sixth win of 2014.
Pen: Steyn 4
Pen: Coleman 4, Catrakilis 2
Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 S'bura Sithole, 12 Paul Jordaan, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Francois Steyn, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Willem Alberts, 7 Tera Mtembu, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (c), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Ryan Kankowski, 20 Keegan Daniel, 21 Charl McLeod, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Heimer Williams.
Stormers: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damien de Allende, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen (c), 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Stephan Coetzee, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Michael Willemse, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Martin Dreyer, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 Manuel Carizza, 21 Dylon Frylinck, 22 Demetri Catrakilis, 23 Peter Grant
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant Referees: Stuart Berry, Stefan Breytenbach
TMO: Johan Greeff