Reds pile more pain on Stormers
Sat, 29 Mar 2014 10:22
The visitors outscored the Reds by two tries to one
The Stormers went down 22-17 to the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday bringing an end to a winless Australasian tour for the Cape side.
The defeat leaves the Stormers languishing in second-last place on the standings, with just one win from their six matches this season.
It is thought to be dastardly to kick a man when he is down though Oscar Wilde though it quite the best time to kick him. The Stormers. after losing five out of six Super Rugby matches this season with four successive defeats on tour, can be considered to be down.
In addition they have the burden of uncertainty as to what awaits them and their management team when they get back to Cape Town next week. Lashing out at them now could be considered tantamount to kicking them when they are down.
The Stormers are down. Do you then overlook them and pour on consoling balm. Or do you put in another critical boot?
Do you mention curse of repeated injuries? Do you remember that they scored two tries to one in the match that they lost or do you talk about the worst line-outs in Super Rugby 2014 and the meaningless kicking.
On the score of injuries, the injury to Gio Aplon is certainly the unkindest cut of all, for he is far and away their best attacking weapon, a player with special skills and vision. The dislocation of his elbow looked to be a freak injury as James Slipper knocked him down. But what followed was ugly. Aplon could not have been at all helped by burly James Hanson, the Reds hooker, who fell on Aplon as he lay on the ground - an illegal action that went disregarded. That could not have done Aplon's elbow any good.
Aplon had played a part in the Stormers' first try - a brilliant piece of 'what they really can do'.
Quade Cooper had missed a kick at goal when Deon Fourie was penalised for a late tackled, the ball striking the upright. In those first 10 minutes, the Reds enjoyed 75% of possession. They had 70% in the whole first half and as a result enjoyed territorial advantages, including a penalty count of 5-2 in their favour.
But the Stormers had a line-out on their left, 20 or so metres out. Nizaam Carr and Siya Kolisi charged the Reds and then the Stormers went right with their simplest and most effective handling this season. Juan de Jongh, running straight, passed to Aplon who ran straight and, drawing the last defender sent Damien De Allende on an overlap that gave him an easy passage over the Reds' in-goal and round to their posts. Grant converted. 7-0
But still the Reds enjoyed a plethora of ball, their own efforts augmented by Stormer inaccuracy, The Stormers won their first three line-out throws, and then lost the next seven to four skew throws and three steals by the Reds. When eventually they won some line-out ball it was by throwing to the front. Irony of ironies, their second try also came from a line-out.
Carr was penalised at a tackle, and Cooper, who was not his confident, bamboozling self, goaled.
The Reds' try came from a line-out error. Ben Tapuai broke down the left and sent Dom Shipperley racing for the corner. He was tackled into touch five metres from the Stormers' line, Stormers' ball. But Fourie threw in skew.
That gave the Reds a five-metre scrum. They went 8-9-11 and Shipperley was stopped near the line and the Reds bashed. Rob Simmons picked up and, low slung, powered his way over under the posts. 10-7 to the Reds, and at the end they were still leading.
Two Cooper penalties - one against Steven Kitshoff at a tackle and one against Carr. Then just before half-time Hansen was offside at a kick and Grant made the score 13-10.
Copper kicked a penalty against Michael Rhodes and then a soaring dropped goal. 19-10 with 14 minutes to play.
At this stage the game degenerated into a game of gaining ground - kicking backwards and forwards
Young Jurie van Vuuren left the field with a damaged shoulder.
Cooper made it 22-10 with 10 minutes to play, at which time the Stormers changed their front row.
Dimitri Catrakilis kicked a penalty brilliantly into touch for a five-metre line-out. Duane Vermeulen won the ball at the front and the Stormers' formed a maul which they raced over for a try by debutant Sikhumbuzo Notshe who played for SA Schools for successive years while at Wynberg Boys' High. Catrakilis converted from touch. 22-17 with 6 minutes to play.
Those two excellent kicks by Catrakelis did not excuse an up-and-under with just over a minute to play and the Stormers in desperate need to keep possession.
Truth be told, the victors did not play wonderfully at all either
Man of the Match: Duane Vermeulen and Nizaam Carr were outstanding for the Stormers but so were Will Genia and our choice of Man of the Match energetic lock Rob Simmons.
For the Reds:
Pens: Cooper 4
For the Stormers:
Tries: De Allende, Notshe
Cons: Grant, Catrakilis
Reds: 15 Lachie Turner, 14 Rod Davies, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Mike Harris, 11 Dom Shipperley, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Beau Robinson, 6 Eddie Quirk, 5 James Horwill (captain), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 James Hanson 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 Pettowa Paraka, 17 Albert Anae, 18 Jono Owen, 19 Ed O'Donoghue, 20 Curtis Browning, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Anthony Fainga'a, 23 Ben Lucas.
Stormers: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Damian de Allende, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Michael Rhodes, 4 Jurie van Vuuren, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Brok Harris, 19 Tazz Fuzani, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Demetri Catrakilis, 23 Jaco Taute.
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Steve Walsh (Australia), Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
TMO: Steve Leszczynski (Australia)
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