Planet Rugby

Stormers head home in high spirits

28th April 2012 10:31

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habana stormers v force

Stormers: Rain on Force's parade

The Stormers ended their Australasian tour on a high after beating the Western Force 17-3 in Perth on Saturday.

It wasn't pretty - the weather or the match - but the visitors got the job done, outscoring their hosts two tries to nil and head home with 13 points in the bag in what has been a very successful road trip.

Played in wet conditions, an open game of running rugby was shelved when the two teams took to the field. But the visitors adjusted accordingly and handled the slippery ball better than the Force, who failed to stamp any authority on the match despite taking an early lead though the boot of fly-half David Harvey.

Instead, it was the South Africans who took control and showed their class that's helped them along to eight wins from nine outings thus far in the competition.

In contrast, the Force's seventh loss of the season all but ended their slim finals hopes, with the franchise a worrying 14 points adrift of the Brumbies with just seven games remaining.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee will be pleased with the performance of his rookies, who once again were impressive in the absence of injured stars Schalk Burger and Duane Vermeulen as Nizaam Carr filled the void with aplomb in his first Super Rugby start while Siya Kolisi did his reputation no harm.

The visitors took the lead when Bok wing Bryan Habana latched on to a Harvey pass and scooted half the length of the field for a try under the posts. But replays showed the ball actually slipped out of Habana's arms just centimetres short of the tryline, with the referees not close enough to see the mistake.

Grant added the conversion from bang in front and the Stormers held on to their four-point (3-7) lead for the rest of the half.

The Force were forced to watch Grant knock over a penalty just three minutes into the second half that increased the Stormers' lead to seven points.

The Stormers pivot then struck again a few minutes later with a converted try to give his team plenty of breathing space, and the Force with a mountain to climb.

The scorers:

For Force:
Pen: Harvey

For Stormers:
Tries: Habana, Grant
Cons: Grant 2
Pen: Grant

Western Force: 14 Alfie Mafi, 14 Rory Sidey, 13 Nick Cummins, 12 Winston Stanley, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 David Harvey, 9 Brett Sheehan, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 David Pocock (c), 6 Matt Hodgson, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Salesi Manu, 18 Phoenix Battye, 19 Richard Brown, 20 Josh Holmes, 21 Ben Seymour, 22 Samu Wara.

Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Bryan Habana, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Danie Poolman, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker (c), 4 De Kock Steenkamp, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Don Armand, 19 Deon Fourie, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Burton Francis, 22 JP du Plessis.

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)

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