Highlanders run Stormers ragged

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 06:53

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Highlanders ran the Stormers ragged to produce an emphatic 57-14 win in Dunedin on Friday.

The result stretched the Stormers' losing streak in New Zealand to a record eighth defeat - going back to 2013 for their last win.

The Stormers had enough possession and certainly some great opportunities.

However, they were predictable and naive in their tactics - playing too much in their own half and using one-up runners ad nauseam.

In contrast, the Highlanders were astute enough to win the territorial battle and found it easier to turn their opportunities into points, because they did not have to score them from more than 50 metres out.

They were also far more clinical on the counter attack.

The Stormers opened an early 7-0 lead, but soon fell off the pace to slump to their third consecutive loss if the season.

They have conceded 143 points and 21 tries in their last three games - while scoring just 54 points and six tries. That's an average 18-48 loss - a dramatic slump since their much-hyped win over the Chiefs in Round Seven.

They still comfortably lead the Africa One conference, but have lost the momentum they built winning their opening six matches of the season.

In contrast, the Highlanders had a shaky start but have now racked up five straight victories and are showing the attacking potency that won the 2015 title.

The win also maintains New Zealand teams' unblemished record on home soil in 13 matches against overseas opposition this season.

The statistic underlines the challenge facing the British and Irish Lions as they seek to breach Fortress New Zealand mentality during their June-July tour.

The Stormers came out firing, determined not to repeat the slow start that led to last week's 57-24 demolition by the Crusaders.

They were rewarded in the seventh minute when Siya Kolisi went on a defence-busting run, then flicked a backhanded offload to set up Nizaam Carr's try.

The Highlanders hit back almost immediately, sending the ball through seven pairs of hands for Patrick Osborne to touch down in his 50th Super Rugby match for the hosts.

Waisake Naholo followed up with another after the Highlanders won a dubious line-out penalty to put themselves in a prime attacking position.

Osborne scored a second five-pointer off the back of a stray Stormers' kick, then Liam Squires crossed after the Highlanders set up a driving maul.

Osborne then set up the Highlander's fifth try, holding off two defenders to palm off the ball to Rob Thompson, who sent them into the break 31-7.

The nightmare continued for the Stormers after the break, with tries to Naholo, Dillon Hunt, Greg Pleasants-Tate and Matt Faddes.

A late consolation try to Dewaldt Duvenage did little to take the sting from a humiliating scoreline for the Stormers.

Man of the match: Nizaam Carr produced an impressive workrate, while Pieter-Steph du Toit and Eben Etzebeth added some muscle. There were the usual suspects - like Ben and Aaron Smith - that had a big influence on the game. Patrick Osborne produced a game to match one of the most impressive moustaches in an interesting array of facial hair at the Dunedin encounter. And Waisake Naholo also got a double. The most productive player was Highlanders No.8 Liam Squire - who wins our award.

The scorers:

For the Highlanders:
Osborne 2, Naholo 2, Squire, Thompson, Hunt, Pleasants-Tate, Faddes
Cons: Banks 6

For the Stormers:
 Carr, Duvenage
Cons: Du Preez 2

Yellow card: Aki Seiuli (Highlanders, 58 - foul play, high tackle)


Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Marty Banks, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Liam Squire, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Siosuia Halanukonuka, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 Jackson Hemopo, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Matt Faddes.

Stormers: 15 Sarel Marais, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Jan de Klerk, 4 Eben Etzebeth (vice-captain), 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oliver Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Kobus van Dyk, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Dewaldt Duvenage, 22 Shaun Treeby (Stormers debut), 23 Bjorn Basson.

Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)


There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Fri, 16 March 2018
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
Jaguares v Waratahs 38 | 28
France v England 22 | 16
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 4 3 0 1 15
Waratahs 4 2 1 1 10
Reds 3 2 0 1 8
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 8
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Highlanders 3 3 0 0 13
Hurricanes 3 2 0 1 10
Crusaders 4 2 0 2 10
Chiefs 3 2 0 1 8
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Stormers 5 2 0 3 9
Sharks 4 1 1 4 9
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4