Planet Rugby

Stormers red-hot in Hamilton

16th April 2010 10:28

Share:

Schalk Burger v Chiefs

Schalk Burger: On the rampage in Hamilton

The Stormers took a giant step towards the Super 14 semi-finals with a scintillating 49-15 win over the Chiefs in Hamilton on Friday.

The defeat spells the end of the Chiefs' campaign, after it had started so brightly with the away wins in the Republic. It's mildly ironic that it should have gone so woefully off the rails against South Africa's tourists. The injuries to the squad have not helped, but neither did the looseness of the Chiefs' play that gifted three of the Stormers' tries to them.

The other three tries were superb. For the first part of this tournament the Stormers were the dullest side out there, but the shackles have come off since they went on tour. There were two end-to-end tries here, two or three similar opportunities that went begging and any number of side-to-side handling movements and interplays. At times, it was just brilliant.

Right from the start, the Chiefs did not look on their game. In the first ten minutes alone, twice they lost ball by simply chucking it around and hoping it would stick. By contrast the visitors stayed patient and built slowly through the phases. The patience was rarely tested.

Peter Grant gave the Stormers the lead with a penalty after 11 minutes, moments after Sereli Naqelevuki had nearly made it to the line following a switch with Gio Aplon. Naqelevuki was trying to offload it when he knocked on, had he managed it the early damage could have been far worse.

The penalty count against the hosts was mounting though. Grant hit his second just to the left of the uprights before a rare foray into Stormers territory from the Chiefs gave Stephen Donald a chance to tie the game up from the tee after Francois Louw had put his hand in a ruck.

Almost immediately, the Stormers threatened the Chiefs line again, with only a midfield obstruction preventing Schalk Burger from scoring the first try. Instead it was left to Grant to give his side the lead back.

Finally, the Chiefs' line was breached after 23 minutes with arguably the try of the tournament so far.

Jaque Fourie started it in his own 22, before a combination of Burger, Naqelevuki, Louw and Tiaan Liebenberg took the ball almost to the Chiefs line. Louw was hauled down short and then the quick ball was sent out to Habana with a long looping pass from Grant. Habana had two metres to go.

It quickly got worse for the Chiefs. A long clearance fell to Aplon, who checked and accelerated through some appalling tackling. All he needed to do was time his pass to Duane Vermeulen, who powered home in the corner with Grant converting superbly from wide out.

Even when the home side did string some moves together, the bounce of the ball refused to go their way. Richard Kahui's dab through on the half-hour mark would have popped up into Sione Lauaki's hands on most days of any week, but on this one it jumped up from the turf like it had hit a coiled spring and bounded into touch with the tryline begging.

Then there was the chip by Tim Nanai-Williams, which Dwayne Sweeney even had under control before he lost it again in the tackle as he crashed over the line. When it's not your day, it's not your day.

At the third time of asking, the Chiefs did cross the whitewash. Lauaki took the ball powerfully off the back of a scrum and popped the ball up for Tanerau Latimer who coasted over under the posts to make it 20-10 at half-time.

So much for that though. Within five minutes of the restart the Stormers had the game wrapped up. Andries Bekker rumbled down the right ebfore the ball moved smartly from one side to the other, Habana straightened the line and Liebenberg crashed over.

Grant converted, added a penalty, and then it took only another five minutes for the Stormers to grab the bonus point, with some sublime side-to-side rugby culminating in Naqelevuki slicing through the stretched defence.

Bekker scored the fifth, stretching for the line after some patient forward driving, Deon Fourie notched the sixth after picking up a loose ball from a bout of hot potato by the Chiefs' inside backs.

In between, Tim Nanai-Williams scored a peach of a try for the Chiefs and the young full-back's display was a rare beacon of light on a dim evening for the home side - on a night when any thought of a semi-final was extinguished completely.

The win lifts the Stormers top of the table for 24 hours at least. On this form, who'd bet against them being there in five weeks' time?

Man of the match: It would be wrong to single out anyone from this Stormers display, so we'll go for a team award to the men from the Cape.

The scorers:

For the Chiefs:
Tries: Latimer, Nanai-Williams
Con: Donald
Pen: Donald

For the Stormers:
Tries: Habana, Vermeulen, Liebenberg, Naqelevuki, Bekker, D.Fourie
Cons: Grant 5
Pens: Grant 3

Chiefs: 15 Tim Nanai-Williams, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Richard Kahui, 12 Stephen Donald, 11 Dwayne Sweeney, 10 Mike Delany, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 Sione Lauaki, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam (c), 5 Culum Retallick, 4 Craig Clarke, 3 Ben Afeaki, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Vern Kamo, 17 Nathan White, 18 Romana Graham, 19 Colin Bourke 20 Junior Poluleuligaga, 21 Callum Bruce, 22 Jackson Willison.

Stormers: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Sireli Naqelevuki, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 François Louw, 6 Schalk Burger (c), 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 JD Moller.
Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 JC Kritzinger, 18 Anton van Zyl, 19 Pieter Louw, 20 Ricky Januarie, 21 Willem de Waal, 22 Tim Whitehead.

Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins vs Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Preview
Newcastle Falcons vs GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Preview
Saturday , November 22
Exeter vs WaspsExeter vs Wasps Preview
London Irish vs BathLondon Irish vs Bath Preview
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Preview
London Welsh vs Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 22
Italy vs South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Preview
Scotland vs TongaScotland vs Tonga Preview
Romania vs Canada18:30
Ireland vs AustraliaIreland vs Australia Preview
Wales vs New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Preview
England vs SamoaEngland vs Samoa Preview
France vs ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Preview
Sunday , November 23
Georgia vs JapanGeorgia vs Japan Preview
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 21
Dragons vs MunsterDragons vs Munster Preview
Scarlets vs Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Preview
Connacht vs ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Preview
Ulster vs OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Preview
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Preview
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
International Match
Friday , November 21
Fiji 20 - 14 USA
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Scotland 16 - 24 New ZealandScotland vs New Zealand Report
England 28 - 31 South AfricaEngland vs South Africa Report
Tonga 40 - 12 USATonga vs USA Report
Wales 17 - 13 FijiWales vs Fiji Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 14
Gloucester 15 - 22 HarlequinsGloucester vs Harlequins Report
Northampton 18 - 24 ExeterNorthampton vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 18 - 20 ArgentinaItaly vs Argentina Report
Canada 13 - 23 SamoaCanada vs Samoa Report
More International Match results
LV= Cup
Cardiff Blues 19 - 13 Scarlets
Ospreys 35 - 51 DragonsOspreys vs Dragons Report
Sunday , November 9
Wasps 43 - 22 London Irish
London Welsh 9 - 18 Gloucester
Leicester 29 - 13 Sale SharksLeicester vs Sale Sharks Report
More LV= Cup results
International Match
Saturday , November 8
Italy 24 - 13 SamoaItaly vs Samoa Report
Wales 28 - 33 AustraliaWales vs Australia Report
England 21 - 24 New ZealandEngland vs New Zealand Report
Georgia 9 - 23 TongaGeorgia vs Tonga Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton726
2Exeter724
3Bath724
4Saracens724
5Wasps720