Stormers win titanic tussle

Joe Pietersen kicked five penalties while Jean de Villiers scored a well worked try to get the Stormers home.

In what was a test match battle between the two best defensive teams in the competition, a lone penalty being the difference at half time. At the end of the match it was a try by de Villiers that was the difference as the Stormers won 20 – 15.

The first half was a battle of the defensive lines, as both team had a mere two missed tackles each by the break. There were a few attempts at goal through the half, but it was the one on the half time hooter that gave the Stormers the lead.

The second half started well for the Stormers as they scored the only try of the match. Elton Jantjies produced a superb cross kick for Bryan Habana, who did just as well to get rid of the ball quickly to Pietersen. Pietersen had to simply find de Villiers on his outside for the lanky captain to run in.

The rest of the second half was a battle of the boots as Pietersen and Quade Cooper went head to head. Pietersen slotted another four penalties while Cooper was successful with all five his second half goals. It wasn’t enough for the Reds, who have now lost both their tour matches and head back to Brisbane five points behind the Brumbies.

The Stormers kicked away too much ball in the first half, allowing the Reds to play all the rugby. What will satisfy coach Allister Coetzee is the fact that the Stormers did not allow playmaker Cooper to wreak any havoc. Cooper had one of his better games in a Reds jersey this season, putting players in space on numerous occasions.

Once the Stormers decided to keep ball in hand, they made the necessary ground and was able to kick the penalties that eventually won them the game. Siya Kolisi and Tiaan Liebenberg were massive in the loose, both having big games, while Elton Jantjies had an assured game in the flyhalf jersey. The revelation though was Damian de Allende, who had an impressive game in midfield, but adding a loose-forward ability to his game, turning over a few balls at the breakdown.

The Stormers next host the Kings at Newlands while the Reds travel to back home to host the Rebels.

Stormers: 20 (3)

Tries: Jean de Villiers
Penalties: Joe Pietersen (5)

Reds: 15 (0)

Penalties: Quade Cooper (5)

By Richard Ferguson