Stormers pip Hurricanes at Newlands
February 28, 2014
Stormers wing Gio Aplon looks for a way through the Hurricanes defence
© Getty Images
An improved Hurricanes side conceded a late try to the Stormers to lose 19-18 in a tense Super Rugby game at Cape Town.
The New Zealand side appeared set to rebound from last weekend's 27-9 opening loss to the Sharks courtesy of two tries before half-time which pushed them 12-6 ahead.
They held that lead until the 77th minute, when flanker Deon Fourie barged over from a lineout drive for their only try and fly-half Demetri Catrakilis slotted a wide conversion. It brought relief to the Stormers, who lost heavily themselves last outing, 34-10 to the Lions.
The hosts relied on a muscular pack and five-from-five goalkicking of Catrakilis against a Hurricanes side who burst into life on occasions but were guilty of too many handling errors.
Trailing 6-0 after struggling for possession, the Hurricanes manufactured classy tries to their All Blacks wings Julian Savea and Cory Jane in the 34th and 38th minutes. Savea's score followed a slick break by centre Conrad Smith and pinpoint grubber kick from scrum-half TJ Perenara, while Jane benefited from a flat cross-kick by inside centre Hadleigh Parkes.
An even second half saw the visitors keep their nose in front as first five-eighth Beauden Barrett traded two penalties with Catrakilis. However, some late mistakes handed the Stormers an opportunity to take their first win of the season, extending their winning streak at home to six games.
The Hurricanes, who earned a bonus point, have won just one of their past seven games against the Stormers.
"It was better than last weekend," said Stormers and Springboks captain and centre Jean de Villiers. "This has been a tough week with many harsh words after the Lions loss. Had I been offered a one-point win before the game, the answer would have been 'yes'. Let us give credit to the Hurricanes - they are a tough, quality side."
All Blacks and Hurricanes centre and skipper Conrad Smith said: "Rugby can be a cruel game as we played really well only to lose at the death. Our defence was outstanding and I am really proud of the boys. A couple of tour defeats is disappointing, but there is a long season ahead."
Demetri Catrakilis slotted a late conversion to snatch victory for the Stormers (video available in Australia only)
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league
So much for the great Australian revival, writes Greg Growden. It now has the potential of going off the rails after the capitulation at Eden Park
The latest Week in Pictures takes in photographs from the Rugby Championship, the Top 14 and the southern hemisphere domestic scene