Planet Rugby

Stormers end Highlanders' run

11th March 2011 16:46

Share:

robbie robinson highlanders v stormers

Off target: Robbie Robinson

The high-flying Highlanders were brought back down to earth by the Stormers after losing 18-6 in another Cape Town kickathon on Friday.

There were no tries scored at Newlands for the second week running, and like last week it was up to Stormers pivot Peter Grant to contribute all his side's points.

Grant kicked six penalties - missing only one attempt - whilst Highlanders fly-half Robbie Robinson could only manage two successful shots at goal.

The Highlanders enjoyed a fair amount of possession in the early stages and they soon discovered that their cavalier brand of rugby - which knocked the stuffing out of the Bulls last week - was not going make an impact against the solid defence of the Stormers who, nevertheless, had to make an endless number of tackles.

The Stormers, on the other hand, were content to absorb the early pressure and were less adventurous with ball in hand.

In their efforts to crack the Stormers' defence, the Highlanders often tried to force openings without success and, in the process, they committed infringements in various areas of the game.

Their indiscretions were proving costly as Grant steered three penalties through the posts inside the opening 20 minutes for a 9-0 lead.

Gio Aplon signalled his return to Super Rugby after an injury lay-off with a dazzling run inside the Highlanders 22-metre area and the 33,000-strong crowd rose to their feet to applaud the diminutive Stormers full-back.

However, his enterprising run came to nought as his support was thwarted by the Highlanders' defence two metres from their tryline.

The Stormers too were punished for their shortcomings and Robinson was on target twice in the space of eight minutes (9-6).

Just before half-time, a fracas broke out and referee Steve Walsh sent locks Andries Bekker (Stormers) and Jarrad Hoeata (Highlanders) to the sin bin. With the yellow cards, came a Stormers penalty which Grant goaled to give his lead a 12-6 halftime lead.

The Stormers took time to settle down after the restart and the Highlanders made all the early second-half running. The pressure they created forced the Stormers into mistakes around their 10-metre line but they enjoyed a let-off - three times - as the Highlanders failed to land any of their penalty attempts.

The stubborn Stormers' defence and their inability to convert their penalty opportunities seemed to be sapping the resolve in the Highlanders' ranks.

The Stormers looked far more composed and were far more patient in their efforts to gain the initiative. There was a wonderful break by Grant to spark off a telling Stormers sortie which was checked five metres out when Aplon was brought down by the cover defence.

Grant was once more on target in the 55th minute (15-6) after which the Stormers produced several passages of play which often looked capable of breaching the opposition defence.

Just on the hour, the Highlanders bounced back with a wave of attacks into the Stormers' 22, but their repetitive crash-ball runs made no impact.

Around the 65th minute mark, the Stormers lost their second prop (JC Kritzinzer and earlier CJ van der Linde) through injury and the match progressed with uncontested scrums.

It detracted from the spectacle somewhat but the keen competitive edge of both sides ensured that the defence could not afford to lapse.

For good measure, the Stormers crowned their closing efforts with three more points via yet another Grant penalty ahead of the final whistle.

The scorers:

For Stormers:
Pens: Grant 6

For Highlanders:
Pens: Robinson 2

Stormers: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Danie Poolman, 13 Juan De Jongh, 12 Jean De Villiers (c), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermuelen, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Pieter Louw, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Rynhardt Elstadt, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 CJ van Der Linde.
Replacements: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Frans Malherbe / JC Kritzinger, 18 De Kock Steenkamp, 19 Nick Koster, 20 Ricky Januarie, 21 Gary Van Aswegen, 22 Jaque Fourie.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 James Paterson, 13 Kendrick Lynn, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Siale Piutau, 10 Robbie Robinson, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Alando Soakai, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Josh Bekhuis, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 3 Chris King, 2 Jason Rutledge, 1 Jamie Mackintosh (capt).
Replacements: 16 Mahonri Schwalger, 17 Bronson Murray, 18 Tom Donnelly, 19 John Hardie, 20 Aaron Smith, 21 Tony Brown, 22 Telusa Veainu.

Referee: Steve Walsh

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
International Match
Saturday , November 1
Barbarians vs AustraliaBarbarians vs Australia Preview
USA vs New ZealandUSA vs New Zealand Preview
More International Match fixtures
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Exeter vs Gloucester15:00
Bath vs London Welsh15:00
London Irish vs Leicester15:00
Northampton vs Newcastle16:00
Sunday , November 2
Saracens vs Harlequins13:00
Friday , November 7
Scarlets vs Northampton19:30
Ospreys vs Saracens19:35
Harlequins vs Newport Gwent D'gons19:45
Newcastle vs Cardiff Blues20:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues vs MunsterCardiff Blues vs Munster Preview
Scarlets vs ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Preview
Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gonsUlster vs Newport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 1
Lyon vs Toulouse13:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
La Rochelle vs Montpellier18:30
Brive vs Castres18:30
Bayonne vs Clermont Auvergne20:45
Sunday , November 2
Toulon vs Grenoble13:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Ospreys 26 - 11 ConnachtOspreys vs Connacht Report
Glasgow 17 - 9 Benetton TrevisoGlasgow vs Benetton Treviso Report
Leinster 33 - 8 EdinburghLeinster vs Edinburgh Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Castres 16 - 21 LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Report
Clermont Auvergne 35 - 3 Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Report
Benetton Treviso 10 - 26 Racing Metro 92
Wasps 16 - 23 HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Report
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615