Relentless Stormers halt Blues
Saturday, March 17, 2018 Lynn McConnell Getty Images
Well led in the loose by skipper and flankers Siya Kolisi and Pieter-Steph du Toit both at the breakdown and in the loose, the Stormers kept the pressure on which allowed talented first five-eighths Damian Willemse and fullback Dillyn Leyds to cut their capers with effect.
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Blues skipper James Parsons said mistakes at crucial moments, especially in the first half, and breakdown dominance by the home side had made life difficult.
They felt they had a chance coming out for the second half but wing EW Viljoen's second try had been a blow to the Blues' comeback, he said.
Impressive continuity play from the start of the game saw the Stormers score after only 90 seconds when wing JJ Engelbrecht joined the backline from the blindside wing to create a gap and once through he found wing Viljoen inside him and he scored his first try.
Allowing Leyds to run ball back from his 22m proved fatal. He drew defenders before finding du Toit outside him. Making good speed down the sideline he was able to pass inside to left wing Raymond Rhule, although the Blues contested it was forward, who scored in the 12th minute.
No.8 Nizaam Carr looked to have scored after first five-eighths Bryn Gatland had a clearing kick charged down in the 22nd minute but a TMO referral saw he had come from an offside position and the try was disallowed.
The Blues were unable to build on the chance and their own indiscipline handed the home team another try when from a five-metre lineout, the Stormers worked the ball infield where du Toit made a strong surge to the line and from the goal-line ruck halfback Duwalt Duvenage sniped around the ruck to score under the posts.
However, from the five-metre scrum, No.8 Akira Ioane proved unstoppable to score the Blues first try.
But in building up to a potential second try moments later saw a pass from Sonny Bill Williams knocked to the ground by Viljoen. Englebrecht picked up and raced 80m before going down in Melani Nanai's chasing tackle. However, Viljoen was in support to take the pass and score.
A classy sidestep by replacement first five-eighths Stephen Perofeta opened up the home defences in their 22m and Collins took his pass to race hard at the line, play the ball after being tackled and go over by the posts to score.
Quick hands from Perofeta and replacement centre George Moala in the 68th minute got the ball to Akira Ioane on the left flank and when challenged he slipped the ball inside to brother Rieko who scored.
But consecutive penalty goals to Willemse kept the Stormers well in front and the Blues were unable to escape their grip.
Scorers: Stormers 37 (EW Viljoen 2, Raymond Rhule, Duwaldt Duvenage tries; Damian Willemse 4 con, 3 pen) Blues 20 (Akira Ioane, Michael Collins, Rieko Ioane tries; Bryn Gatland pen; Stephen Perofeta con). HT: 24-3
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