Noakes nails Stormers

Chris Noakes kicked three penalties on either side of half time to secure a close victory for the Blues at North Harbour stadium.

The Stormers scored twice through Jean de Villiers, but were caught just short at the end of the match. The Blues won 18 – 17 after leading 9 – 3 at half time.

Jean de Villiers was the star in a very poor team effort from the Stormers. He scored twice, both tries being fantastic individual efforts, one from close range and another from a break on the halfway line. There were poor performances from Dewadt Duvenhage, who kicked poorly, and Joe Pietersen, who seemed unsure what to do with ball in hand. He also missed a kick that could have handed them a victory, not even mentioning the kicks not taken by captain de Villiers.

The Stormers had the momentum going into the final minutes, but gave the ball to Elton Jantjies whose attempt at a drop goal got no higher than 2m off the ground. If they had kept ball in hand and played for the penalty, they might have pulled off a surprise win.

The Blues did well to keep their heads and not concede the penalty after 20 phases on the defence. They can count themselves lucky that the Stormers were hasty and impatient, opting for the drop goal. They kept ball in hand and built possession, forcing the Stormers into conceding penalties, which Noakes capitalised on.

Chris Noakes wrote himself into the Blues record books becoming the first Blues player to kick six penalties in a match.

The Blues next host the Rebels while the Stormers head into the Australian leg of their tour with a match against the Waratahs.

Blues: 18 (9)

Tries:
Conversions:
Penalties: Chris Noakes (6)

Stormers: 17 (3)

Tries: Jean de Villiers (2)
Conversions: Joe Pietersen (2)
Penalties: Joe Pietersen (1)

By Richard Ferguson