Stormers win spiteful arm-wrestle
Sat, 06 Jul 2013 16:59
Two tries to none
The Stormers were made to work exceptionally hard for a 24-12 win over a willing Southern Kings team in a spiteful arm-wrestle on Saturday.
The Super Rugby encounter in Port Elizabeth saw just one yellow card - to Kings prop Grant Kemp for a rather innocuous late tackle - but could so easily have produced a few more, maybe even a red.
Stormers lock Eben Etzebeth is the most fortunate of all not to have been carded, after attacking the face of an opponent for no reason at all.
It was a slovenly match with little to recommend it, which is a grievous pity as there was a large and enthusiastic crowd at the splendid Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. The place and the crowd deserved more of this meeting of East and West.
Neither side had doner much try-scoring in Super Rugby and the reason was obvious - almost a complete lack of creativity. Both sides rely for points on penalties and mauls, which are really penalties' richer relations. Both sides defend well and that is what they did best on this match.
The Kings, who had only Andries Strauss as a back of international recognition against the five of the Stormers, had the better excuse for extending the try drought, but they certainly tackled with great intent and in numbers.
But on attack they do not have the speed and guile of Bryan Habana and Gio Aplon and the muscular (sometimes over vigorous) thrust of Eben Etzebeth or even Damien De Allende.
Not that those skills really helped the Stormers. Their first try was by rumbling a maul over the line and the second one from a breakaway from a maul rumbling at the line.
There was kicking - sometimes four in succession - but the only line breaks came from Etzebeth and Gerhard van de Heever.
The Kings started with great enthusiasm and penalties against Etzebeth and Elton Jantjies gave them a 6-0 lead after 9 minutes. Then while Joe Pietersen's was having a lip stitched, Jantjies goaled a penalty at a scrum and then, returned, Pietersen goaled one when Bandise Maku was penalised at a tackle. 6-6 after 20 minutes.
Nizaam Carr was penalised and Catrakelis goaled. There was a strange phenomenon in this Port Elizabeth ground - raucous catcalls for Catrakelis though it was at his home ground. It seems that the Stormers have in Port Elizabeth the sort of illmannered support the Crusaders have in Cape Town.
At 14 minutes the Kings' prop Grant Kemp, a Capetonian, was yellowcarded for charging into Habana high, late and with only his shoulder. It was not the only bit of miserable squabbling during the match. It recrudesced from time to time, often involving David Bulbring and Etzebeth.
Catrakelis hit the upright with a penalty attempt and then just before half-time, the Stormers kicked a penalty out for an attacking line-out They did it on ttwo other ocacsisons with deep throw-ins which they overthrew. This time they threw it at Etzebeth at No.2, formed a maul and rumbled it over the line for a try credited to Deon Fourie. That made the half-time score 11-9.
The second half produced more of the same though an up-and-under used by Michael Killian gave the Kings a glimmer of hope.
Kemp was penalised at a tackle and, Pietersen off again, Jantjies goaled. 14-9 after 55 minutes. He goaled again when Strauss tackled high and then the Stormers made a penalty into a line-out outside the Kings' 22. They mauled and were going forward till ever-energetic Fourie broke away some 18 metres out and bumped three defenders out of the way to score a try which Jantjies converted. 24-12 with only a few minutes left.
Man of the Match: Deon Fourie for his energy, good manners and keeping up high standards.
For the Southern Kings:
Pens: Catrakilis 4
For the Stormers:
Tries: Fourie 2
Pens: Jantjies 3, Pietersen
Yellow card: Grant Kemp (Southern Kings, 14 - foul play, late tackle without arms)
Southern Kings: 15 SP Marais, 14 Marcello Sampson, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Andries Strauss (captain), 11 Michael Killian, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Wimpie van der Walt, 6 Cornell du Preez, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Darron Nell, 3 Grant Kemp, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Charl du Plessis, 17 Hannes Franklin, 18 Steven Sykes, 19 Devin Oosthuizen, 20 Nicolas Vergallo, 21 George Whitehead, 22 Shane Gates.
Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Don Armand, 6 Deon Fourie (captain), 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Gerbrandt Grobler, 19 Rynhardt Elstadt, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Gary van Aswegen, 22 Gerhard van den Heever.
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius Jonker (South Africa), Christie du Preez (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)
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