Planet Rugby

Stormers rain on Chiefs' parade

14th March 2008 08:18


Mujati v chiefs

Stand aside: Brian Mujati on the run for the Stormers

The Stormers got their second consecutive win on the road as they beat the Chiefs 35-26 at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on Friday.

The Chiefs tactical kicking in the first-half was appalling and the Stormers used their superiority in this area as a platform from which to attack.

The home side's poor defensive patterns were once again shown up as the visitors ran in three first-half tries to one.

The Stormers dominated the breakdown and produced endless turnover ball for their backs to use. But, just like they did last week, the Chiefs managed to up their game in the second-half, making a strong comeback to set up a nervy finish.

It wasn't enough though and the Stormers' bonus point means their campaign is back on track.

The Stormers dominated the set pieces, especially the scrum, consistently pushing the New Zealanders back.

The team from Cape Town don't have the biggest pack in the tournament by any means, and the Chiefs will have to work very hard on their set-piece if they want to avoid being mauled by the Bulls next week.

Chiefs fly-half Stephen Donald was at his sharp shooting best and opened the scoring with penalty but it was the Stormers who provided the early fireworks.

Donald's opposite number, Peter Grant, followed up with a penalty of his own before he crossed the Chiefs' line with an excellent individual effort from close in, which he also converted.

They Chiefs were being murdered by the Stormers loose forwards at the break-down. Luke Watson, Schalk Burger and Francois Louw consistently won the ball back from the Chiefs' runners and it was from such a turnover that the visitors scored their second try.

Luke Watson nicked a ball that Liam Messam should never has lost. The ball went wide and when Tonderai Chavhanga slipped through tackles from Simms Davidson and Richard Kanui, he was never going to be caught.

Six missed tackles in under half an hour was just not good enough from the men in yellow and black.

Chavhanga has an unbelievable turn of speed and the rest of the Super 14 teams will give him any sort of space at their peril.

Another turnover cost the Chiefs dearly four minutes later. This time Schalk Brits teamed up with Burger to steal the egg off the home side.

Ricky January made the classic ELV move to take a quick tap and some good hands saw full-back Conrad Jantjes score an entertaining try.

As usual, Burger was all over the park. His enforced rest obviously had no detrimental effect on his energy levels. However, it didn't do much for his handling which nearly ruined his best performance this year.

As Richie McCaw said a few weeks ago, "you know when he's on the field", and his presence seemed to spur the Stormers pack on.

The same cannot be said for Stormers captain Jean de Villiers who once again just seemed stale. The creativity and vision that made him the number one choice at inside-centre for the Springboks in the past has been sadly lacking this year.

The writing looked to be on the wall for the Chiefs, but Kanui scored an intercept try that would surely have been scored at the other end if he hadn't split a huge overlap for the Stormers, the gap was reduced to 12.

The Chiefs looked much better in the second half. The addition of Callum Bruce marked an improvement in their kicking, but they had a huge mountain to climb.

An excellent try from winger Lelia Masaga and a healthy contribution from Donald's boot brought them within two points before the referee awarded the Stormers a penalty try after Masaga tackled Burger from an off-side position under the experimental laws.

The visitors had enjoyed nearly 60 per cent of the possession but in the last ten minutes the Chiefs were all attack. Twice they were denied what looked like great tries in the dying moments as the game slipped away from them.

The Stormers were good value for their nine point winning margin and the confidence gained form this win will stand them in good stead when they face the Blues in Auckland next week.

Man of the match: Peter Grant scored 20 points, kicked and passed well but the Stormer's loose forwards trio worked well as a team to rob the Chiefs of the ball over and over again.

Moment of the match: Brendon Leonard and Sosene Anesi gave the home crowd some to cheer about five minutes from time, before they starting crying! If there hadn't been a foot in touch Leonard's non-try would have taken the cake. Tonderai Chavhanga's sheer pace earned him a try worth mentioning, but Conrad Jantjes' try showed just what the Stormers' backs are capable of when they put their minds to it.

Villain of the match: No dodgy moments to speak of at all.

The scorers

For the Stormers

Tries Grant, Chavhanga, Jantjes.

ConsGrant 3

PensGrant 3

For the Chiefss

Tries Kahui, Masaga

Cons Donald 2

Pens Donald 4

The teams:

Chiefs: 15 Sosene Anesi, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Mils Muliaina (c), 12 Richard Kahui, 11 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 Liam Messam, 7 Tom Harding, 6 Faifili Levave, 5 Kevin O'Neill, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Ben May, 2 Tom Willis , 1 Simms Davison.

Replacements: 16 Vern Kamo, 17 Ben Castle, 18 Hayden Hopgood, 19 Sione Lauaki, 20 Tanerau Latimer, 21 David Bason, 22 Callum Bruce.

Stormers: 15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 Tonderai Chavhanga, 13 Gcobani Bobo, 12 Jean De Villiers (c), 11 Sireli Naqelevuki, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Luke Watson, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Schalk Burger, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 JD Moller.

Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Ross Skeate, 19 Robbie Diack, 20 Bolla Conradie, 21 Gio Aplon, 22 Dylan Des Fountain.

Referee: Matt Goddard (Australia)

Touch judges: Nathan Pearce (Australia), Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)

Television match official: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

Assessor: Kim Eichmann (New Zealand)

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