Planet Rugby

Stormers blow Waratahs away

20th February 2010 19:00

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Habana celebrates

Storming victory: Bryan Habana celebrates his second try

On a baking hot Saturday in Cape Town, the Stormers wore down the Waratahs to record a clinical 27-6 win in the Super 14.

In a rugged match where space was at a premium, it was the home side who held their nerve better to seize upon mistakes from the visitors and run in the tries, Bryan Habana scoring his first two competitive tries in the blue jersey to take his side out of reach.

It was not a pretty win at all - of the thrilling rugby played over the weekend in other parts of the south there was not a trace - but that will not matter a jot to the 37,000-odd souls who filled Newlands.

The home side's pack was more physical and more determined, while the backs looked a touch sharper and more capable of running the attacking lines that would make the difference.

Berrick Barnes was afforded no space at fly-half and the backs outside him ran a plethora of unimaginative lines into a navy blue wall. As the game wore on, the light blues just could not get either a hand on the ball or a handle on the officious refereeing of Keith Brown. The Stormers, a touch more patient, soaked up the hits and waited for the chances to come.

When you have a poacher of the calibre of Habana around, that kind of game becomes a little easier but you have to give credit to the home side for the way they stuck to their task.

The Waratahs tore into the game, seeking the early blow, but their best efforts foundered on rugged and disciplined Stormers defence and all they could show for it was a penalty from Barnes. Frustration set in - Phil Waugh was notably on the borderline of letting his temper get the better of him for much of the match - and the mistakes began to come. The Stormers took full advantage.

Francois Louw finally got the game's opening try; it will forever be a mystery as to whether he grounded the ball or not, but it marked a sea change in the momentum of the match. Joe Pietersen, who had missed his first shot, added the conversion and two more penalties in the final ten minutes of the first half to leave his side 13-3 ahead at the break.

Barnes pulled three back just after the break, but when Kurtley Beale's casual kick was charged down and regathered by Habana for his team's second try, you could see the stuffing tumble from the visitors.

Januarie made lemonade out of lemons in the 55th minute, taking a dire pass round his ankles but using his awkward body position to burst ahead through the tackle before releasing Habana away for Stormers' third try.

A bonus point would have been undeserved for a performance that owed far more to defence than attack and the Stormers offered little more beyond exemplary tackling, but there was little the Waratahs could do to change the result.

Man of the match: Ricky Januarie's return to the Stormers brought a good deal of mongrel both in attack and defence, and he rounded it off with the moment of the match when setting Habana away for the second.

The scorers:

For the Stormers:
Tries: Louw, Habana 2
Cons: Pietersen 3
Pens: Pietersen 2

For the Waratahs:
Pen: Barnes

Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Schalk Burger (c), 5 Andries Bekker, 4 De Kock Steenkamp, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 JC Kritzinger.
Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Eusebio Guinazu, 18 Anton van Zyl, 19 Pieter Louw, 20 Dewaldt Duvenage, 21 Lionel Cronjé, 22 Sireli Naqelevuki.

Waratahs: 15 Sosene Anesi, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Tom Carter, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Phil Waugh (c), 6 Ben Mowen, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Will Caldwell, 3 Al Baxter, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Damien Fitzpatrick, 17 Sekope Kepu, 18 Hendrik Roodt, 19 Dave Dennis, 20 Josh Holmes, 21 Daniel Halangahu, 22 Rory Sidey.

Referee: Keith Brown (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa), Jonathon White (New Zealand)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

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