The Stormers got their tour off to the best possible start, beating the Hurricanes.
A strong second half performance saw them overturning a 7 – 11 half time deficit to win 18 – 16.
Wind played havoc in the match as each team had to face the full wrath of it, the Stormers benefiting from it in the second half. The first half saw the Hurricanes make the most of it with long kicks, which gave them the territory to put Matt Proctor over.
We did see the Stormers dominate possession for about ten minutes, in which the Canes lost Jeremy Thrush to a yellow card. After three line-out drives they eventually got Michael Rhodes over the chalk, rewarding the team for taking a chance to score, rather than kick at goal into the wind.
The second half saw a complete turnaround for the Canes, keeping ball in hand and building enormous amounts of phases. Three times did they go over 15 phases, gaining ground but failing to finish off with any points. One such play did see Andre Taylor score to get the lead back, but Gio Aplon hit back almost immediately to put the Stormers in the lead.
Many will argue that a Bryan Habana charge down of a Beauden Barrett conversion attempt was the difference between the Stormers getting the win and drawing this match. Habana returned to the frame and looked slightly out of touch in the first half, but charged down a conversion attempt that eventually was the difference on the scoreboard.
The Stormers line-outs started out poorly, Deon Fourie and his jumpers not able to find each other, the wind being an influential factor. Their jumpers did cause havoc with the Canes line-outs, De Kock Steenkamp winning opposition ball on more than one occasion.
The Hurricanes will feel that a lack of decision making cost them this game, a clear chance towards the end of the game going down. Barrett had an overlap and went for a loopy overhead pass, the wrong decision at the time. His decision was influenced by a brilliant Stormers defence though, so one can put that down to pressure.
The Hurricanes now travel to South Africa to take on the Bulls and the Stormers head into their second tour game against the Blues in Auckland.
Hurricanes: 16 (11)
Tries: Matt Proctor, Andre Taylor
Penalties: Beauden Barrett (2)
Stormers: 18 (7)
Tries: Michael Rhodes, Gio Aplon
Conversions: Joe Pietersen (1)
Penalties: Joe Pietersen (2)
By Richard Ferguson