Planet Rugby

Stormers blow away Hurricanes

13th March 2010 19:23

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Duane Vermeulen score against Hurricanes

On his way: Duane Vermeulen

The Stormers leaped into second place on the Super 14 standings following their 37-13 win over the Hurricanes in Cape Town on Saturday.

The performance at Newlands was by far the Stormers' best to date, and a massive result considering they've beaten two traditional giants, the Waratahs and Hurricanes, by a comfortable margin.

They'll be favourites to take the Cheetahs next week, and with that result they'll head on their Australasian tour with a record of five victories from six matches.

Their attack still isn't perfect - ball was spilled in contact and the line-out wobbled on a few occasions, and if synergy is their goal they'll need to eliminate those errors.

What is a big plus is the Stormers' defence is still king, as they've only conceded four tries in five games. If they can keep the current line-up together, they're going to be extremely tough to beat.

Sireli Naqelevuki, Joe Pietersen, Duane Vermeulen, Brok Harris and Jaques Fourie were all on the scoresheet for the home side, ensuring a bonus point.

It took the Newlands outfit to within a point of the Bulls, who have a game in hand, and one clear of the Crusaders.

Pietersen put them ahead almost straight from the kick-off - the visitors penalised for offside allowing the full-back a shot at goal which he gladly took.

There was no long wait for the first try either.

It came courtesy of Fourie's angled run in midfield, which did enough to hold off Conrad Smith and allowed Pietersen space to send Naqelevuki over.

The Hurricanes slowly began to claw their way back into the game, but Willie Ripia wasted a first penalty attempt before adding the second - Bryan Habana and Francois Louw the guilty culprits for Allister Coetzee's side.

Then came a key moment of the game for the New Zealanders - they lost Cory Jane after a nasty clash of heads with Naqelevuki.

The latter, though, suffered no injury and then turned provider when he drew four defenders and cleverly threw a pass to Pietersen for the second try - the Stormers full-back again missing the conversion.

Vermeulen then grabbed the third after the half-time hooter had sounded.

It followed a line-out on the halfway line, an excellent maul forward and a break from Schalk Burger with the ball swung wide to Habana and then coming inside for the number eight to extend the lead.

Pietersen's conversion made it 20-3 at the break and left the visitors looking short of ideas.

Tamati Ellison should have easily scored for his side shortly after the restart, but knocked on metres out to hand the hosts a reprieve.

At the other end Habana and Harris were both held up short as the Stormers tried to relieve some of the pressure.

And Harris, denied minutes earlier by the television referee, got his reward thanks to hard work via Peter Grant's initial charge-down and dash for the line.

Pietersen celebrated the bonus point by knocking over the conversion.

Plenty of changes followed for the Stormers - the visitors capitalising on that with a steal at the scrum after some miscommunication that enabled David Smith to score.

But it came too late as a penalty from Pietersen followed by Fourie's late try opened up the deficit even further.

Tyson Keats slipped through close to the end when he caught the home defence napping, but it proved only a consolation - the visitors losing for the second time in five games.

The scorers:

For Stormers:
Tries: Naqelevuki, Pieterson, Vermeulen, Harris, Fourie
Cons: Pieterson 2
Pens: Pieterson 2

For Hurricanes:
Tries: D Smith, Keats
Pen: Ripia

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

Hurricanes: 15 Cory Jane, 14 Tamati Ellison, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 David Smith, 10 Willie Ripia, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Rodney So'oialo, 7 Scott Waldrom, 6 Victor Vito, 5 Michael Paterson, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Neemia Tialata, 2 Andrew Hore (c), 1 Jacob Ellison.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 John Schwalger, 18 Jeremy Thrush, 19 Karl Lowe, 20 Tyson Keats, 21 Aaron Cruden, 22 Alapati Leiua.

Referee: Nathan Pearce (Australia)
Assistant referees: Steve Walsh (Australia), Marc van Zyl (South Africa)
Television match official: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

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