Poor discipline and handling cost the Stormers dearly in their 24-12 loss to the Reds in Brisbane on Friday. JON CARDINELLI reports.
The Stormers’ nightmare run in Australasia continues. On the back of defeats to the Hurricanes and Blues, Robbie Fleck’s charges served up another inconsistent showing to suffer an embarrassing loss to the Reds in Brisbane.
The game was a turgid affair. The Stormers created some early opportunities, but failed to convert those into points. They made too many handling errors and conceded too many penalties. They fell off tackles, and yet the scoreboard read 0-0 at half-time.
The Reds were equally poor in the first stanza. The nature of the contest changed, though, when Stormers skipper Siya Kolisi was sin-binned in the 40th minute for cynical play.
The Reds scored 14 points while Kolisi was off the park. The hosts found space on the right wing to free up centre Samu Kerevi for the first score. They then went through the heart of the defence to set up the next try, which was eventually scored by hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa from close range.
The Stormers hit back immediately after Kolisi returned to the field. They turned down a couple of kickable penalties and trusted their pack to get them over the line. Kobus van Dyk was the man who eventually breached the defence.
But it was the Reds who seized control during the final quarter. The hosts continued to cause problems for the Stormers’ defence, and their dominance was rewarded with a series of penalties.
In the 67th minute, scrumhalf Tate McDermott sniped from close range and found the Stormers on their heels. That score took the game away from the visitors, a side not known for its ability to play catch-up rugby.
Kolisi attempted to give his side some hope of a comeback when he charged towards the tryline in the 71st minute. The Reds defence arrived at the last minute, though, and managed to hold the Stormers skipper up.
Damian de Allende finished well late in the game to claim the Stormers’ second try. Replacement back SP Marais, however, failed to convert the score. Bryce Hegarty slotted a penalty before full time to ensure that the Stormers did not finish the contest with a losing bonus point.
The Stormers will have one more chance to win in Australasia – and end a three-year losing streak Down Under – when they face the Rebels in Melbourne next week.
Reds – Tries: Samu Kerevi, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Tate McDermott. Conversions: Bryce Hegarty (3). Penalty: Hegarty.
Stormers – Tries: Kobus van Dyk, Damian de Allende. Conversion: Jean-Luc du Plessis.
Reds – 15 Hamish Stewart, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Sefa Naivalu, 12 Samu Kerevi (c), 11 Jack Hardy, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 5 Harry Hockings, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Ruan Smith, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 JP Smith.
Subs: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Angus Blyth, 20 Fraser McReight, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Duncan Paia’aua, 23 Isaac Lucas.
Stormers – 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Justin Phillips, 8 Jaco Coetzee, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Corne Fourie.
Subs: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Michael Kumbirai, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Juarno Augustus, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Joshua Stander, 23 SP Marais.
Photo: Chris Hyde/Getty Images