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Peter Grant's boot keeps Stormers unbeaten

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Article Published: Friday 11 March 2011|

The Stormers ended the Highlanders unbeaten run when Peter Grant kicked the Stormers to an 18-6 victory at Newlands.

The only two teams who are unbeaten this season now are the Sharks and the Stormers.

While the Stormers will be pleased with the victory their will be concern that they have not scored a try in their last two matches and have had to rely solely on Peter Grant's boot for their points.

The Stormers defence however will be no concern as they have also kept their opponents from scoring any tries in the last two matches.

The Highlanders attacked the Stormers throughout the match forcing the hosts to make twice as many tackles as the visitors while the Stormers never really looked like scoring a try and lacked penetration.

The Highlanders on the other hand did all the work and crossed the Stormers line on several occasions but were held up or prevented from scoring every time.

The Stormers led 12-6 at half time and the Highlanders dominated all the statistics in the second half except for the scoreboard and despite their efforts the Stormers kept them pointless in the second half.

Last week, Grant slotted seven penalties in his side's 21-15 win over the Cheetahs but this time his matchwinning contribution was limited to six penalties in yet another tryless contest at Newlands.

The visiting New Zealanders managed a mere six points via the boot of flyhalf Robbie Robinson, who goaled two penalties.

The Highlanders enjoyed a fair amount of possession in the early stages and they soon discovered that their cavalier brand of rugby, which knocked the stuffing out of the Bulls last week, was not going make an impact against the solid defence of the Stormers who, nevertheless, had to make an endless number of tackles.

The Stormers, on the other hand, were content to absorb the early pressure and were less adventurous with ball in hand.

In their efforts to crack the Stormers' defence, the Highlanders often tried to force openings without success and, in the process, they committed infringements in various areas of the game.

Their indiscretions were proving costly as Grant steered three penalties through the posts inside the opening 20 minutes for a 9-0 lead.

Gio Aplon signalled his return to Super Rugby after an injury lay-off with a dazzling run inside the Highlanders 22-metre area and the 33 000-strong crowd applauded the diminutive Stormers fullback.

However, his enterprising run came to nought as his support was thwarted by the Highlanders' defence two metres from their tryline.

The Stormers were punished for their shortcomings and Highlanders' flyhalf Robbie Robinson was on target twice in the space of eight minutes around the 24th minute mark.

Just before halftime, a fracas broke out near the halfway line in front of the main grandstand and referee Steve Walsh sent locks Andries Bekker (Stormers) and Jarrad Hoeata (Highlanders) to the sin bin.

With the yellow cards, came a Stormers penalty which Grant goaled to give his lead a 12-6 halftime lead.

The Stormers took time to settle down after the restart and the Highlanders made all the early second-half running.

The pressure they created forced the Stormers into mistakes around their 10-metre line but they enjoyed a let-off - three times - as the Highlanders failed to land any of their penalty attempts.

The stubborn Stormers' defence and their inability to convert their penalty opportunities seemed to be sapping the resolve in the Highlanders' ranks.

Stormers looked far more composed and were far more patient in their efforts to gain the initiative. There was a wonderful break by Grant to spark off a telling Stormers sortie which was checked five metres out when Aplon was brought down by the cover defence.

Grant was once more on target in the 55th minute after which the Stormers produced several passages of play which often looked capable of breaching the opposition defence.

Just on the hour, the Highlanders bounced back with a wave of attacks into the Stormers' 22-metre area but their repetitive crash-ball runs made no impact.

Around the 65th minute mark, the Stormers lost their second prop (JC Kritzinzer and earlier CJ Van der Linde) through injury and the match progressed with uncontested scrums.

It detracted from the spectacle somewhat but the keen competitive edge of both sides ensured that the defence could not afford to lapse.

For good measure, the Stormers crowned their closing efforts with three more points via yet another Grant penalty ahead of the final whistle.

Final Score Stormers 18 Highlanders 6


Tries -
Pen - P. Grant 6
Con -
Drop -
Cards - Andries Bekker 35 min yellow.

Tries -
Pen - R Robinson 2
Con -
Drop -
Cards - Jarrad Hoeata 35 min yellow

Man of the match: Deon Fourie

Match Officials
Referee: Steve Walsh
Assistant Ref 1:Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 2:Marc van Zyl
TMO : Shaun Veldsman


Stormers :15. Gio Aplon,14. Danie Poolman,13. Juan De Jongh,12. Jean De Villiers (C),11. Bryan Habana,10. Peter Grant,9. Dewaldt Duvenage,8. Duane Vermuelen,7. Francois Louw,6. Pieter Louw,5. Andries Bekker,4. Rynhardt Elstadt,3. Brok Harris,2. Deon Fourie,1. CJ van Der Linde

Reserves:16. Siyabonga Ntubeni,17. JC Kritzinger,18. De Kock Steenkamp,19. Nick Koster,20. Ricky Januarie,21. Gary Van Aswegen,22. Jaque Fourie

Highlanders:1 Jamie Mackintosh (C). 2. Jason Rutledge. 3. Chris King. 4. Jarrad Hoeata. 5. Josh Bekhuis. 6. Adam Thomson. 7. Alando Soakai. 8. Nasi Manu. 9, Jimmy Cowan (VC). 10. Robbie Robinson. 11. Siale Piutau. 12. Shaun Treeby. 13. Kendrick Lynn. 14. James Paterson. 15. Ben Smith.

Replacements: 16. Mahonri Schwalger. 17. Bronson Murray. 18. Tom Donnelly. 19. John Hardie. 20. Aaron Smith. 21. Tony Brown. 22. Telusa Veainu

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