The Stormers regained some lost pride despite going down 41-22 to the Hurricanes in their Super Rugby clash in Wellington on Friday.
The Canes might have outscored the Stormers by seven tries to one, but it took three late tries in the last six minutes to inflate the scoreline.
While the Stormers slumped to a fourth straight loss, by the 69th minute they were just one score away from snatching the lead.
After trailing 22-16 at the break, the Stormers staged a passionate second half comeback, putting the heat on the Hurricanes in the collisions.
Who was the star in this match?
Hurricanes flyhalf Beauden Barrett not only scored the final try in the 81st minute but his decision-making and game management was outstanding. His ability to kick into space and put his wingers into try-scoring opportunities was, especially in the first half, simply awesome.
Key themes and events
- The Stormers scored their only try from a maul by replacement hooker Ramone Samuels with a player down in the 27th minute after Bongi Mbonambi was yellow-carded for killing the ball on the ground.
- Three of the Hurricanes four tries in the first half came after Beauden Barrett landed perfectly executed cross-kicks with brother Jordie, and wings Cory Jane and Julian Savea taking full advantage. It’s difficult for any side to defend against that.
- The Stormers bravely fought their way back from 22-10 down to score two vital penalties in the two minutes before the break by fullback SP Marais to close the gap to just six points. After the turnaround, the fight continued and at one stage, the scores were level at 22-all. But the Stormers couldn’t hold on.
- The shoulder injury to flyhalf Robert du Preez was a big setback, with wing Bjorn Basson replacing him and wing Dillyn Leyds being moved to flyhalf. The injury crisis among the backs continues.
- The 17th minute saw an extraordinary try scored after Jordie Barrett ripped the ball from Stormers No 8 Nizaam Carr inside the Stormers in-goal area, who failed to ground the ball. It’s those kind of mistakes that have haunted the Capetonians on this trip.
Hurricanes – Tries: Jordie Barrett (2), Ngani Laumape (2), Cory Jane Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett. Conversions: Jordie Barrett (3).
Stormers – Try: Ramone Samuels. Conversion: Robert du Preez. Penalties: SP Marais (4), Du Preez.