Planet Rugby

Stormers maintain unbeaten run

07th April 2012 08:04

Share:

habana stormers v highlanders

Stormers: Remain unbeaten

The Stormers remain the only unbeaten Super Rugby side in 2012 after defeating the Highlanders 21-6 at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Saturday.

It was another impressive defensive performance by the visitors who also scored two tries to earn themselves an important victory in their first match on the road that moves them back up to the top of the Super Rugby standings.

The Highlanders lost for the second time in seven games to drop back to third place on the overall table ahead of their bye week and hold second spot behind the Chiefs in the New Zealand conference.

Winger Gio Aplon and full-back Joe Pietersen scored first-half tries for the visitors, while the rest of the Stormers' points came from the boots of Pietersen and Peter Grant.

It was a clinical performance from the visitors, an intimidating effort up front well backed by intelligent kicking, incisive back play and some bruising midfield defence.

The match fell short of expectations of a top-of-the-table clash, though the Stormers put in arguably their best performance of the season with their forwards dominating their opposition pack.

In the 12th minute, captain Jean de Villiers pounced on a Highlanders fumble and toed ahead for Aplon to gather and touch down.

An end-to-end piece of brilliance just on the half-hour mark extended the Stormers' lead, as full-back Pietersen collected an ill-timed Aaron Smith chip kick and launched a counterattack which he ended 90 metres later with a try.

Their suffocating defence held the Highlanders to just two penalties through fly-half Chris Noakes, and lead 15-6 at the break.

And although the Highlanders threw everything they had at the Stormers in the second half, they just could not penetrate their rivals' watertight defensive line.

The second stanza turned into something of an arm wrestle, with two Grant penalties the only addition to the scoreboard.

The scorers:

For Highlanders
Pens: Noakes 2

For Stormers:
Tries: Aplon, Pietersen
Cons: Grant
Pens: Pietersen, Grant 2

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Kade Poki, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Chris Noakes, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Adam Thomson, 6 James Haskell, 5 Jarrad Hoeata, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 3 Chris King, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Jamie Mackintosh (c).
Replacements: 16 Jason Rutledge, 17 Ma'afu Fia, 18 Culum Retallick, 19 Doug Tietjens, 20 Jimmy Cowan, 21 Buxton Popoali'i, 22 Phil Burleigh.

Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean De Villiers (c), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Brok Harris, 18 De Kock Steenkamp, 19 Nick Koster, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Gerhard van den Heever.

Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Heineken Cup
Saturday , April 26
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:40
More Heineken Cup fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 26
Glasgow vs Edinburgh19:05
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs Harlequins20:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs Waratahs17:35
Brumbies vs Chiefs17:40
Sharks vs Highlanders19:10
Saturday , April 26
Hurricanes vs Reds19:35
Western Force vs Bulls17:40
Cheetahs vs Stormers17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton 36 - 21 London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Report
Newcastle 18 - 23 SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Cardiff Blues 17 - 13 ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 10 - 20 Ospreys
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
Connacht 23 - 32 MunsterConnacht vs Munster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Oyonnax 19 - 19 ToulouseOyonnax vs Toulouse Report
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
Racing Metro Paris 22 - 6 Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Grenoble 21 - 21 Bayonne
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Castres 22 - 15 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens2080
2Northampton2071
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058