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Stormers come from behind to beat Reds

Pieter-Steph du Toit chases the ball for the Stormers

The Stormers had to come from behind as they beat the Reds 40-22 at Newlands in Cape Town.

The Stormers outscored the Reds by four tries to three in the match but there was a nervy time for the hosts as the Reds took the lead going into the final quarter before Stormers came back and reclaimed the lead.

The Stormers victory is their sixth from eight matches and the Reds sixth loss from eight matches. The Stormers remain on top of the South African Group and effectively second overall.

The Stormers were led onto the field by matchday captain, Springbok centre Damian de Allende, who was handed the role after the late withdrawal by the official co-captain, prop Frans Malherbe, who went down with flu.

The side’s other co-captain, midfielder Juan de Jongh, is taking a compulsory breather after suffering concussion last week.

The visiting Reds were first out of the blocks with a second-minute penalty, kicked by their flyhalf Jake McIntyre from the Stormers’ 10m line.

The Stormers took some time to open their scoring but they did produce a few entertaining moves as they swept upfield to the Reds’ tryline.

They battled to make an early breakthrough mainly because of handling errors and dropped passes. When they did manage to score it was after rightwing Kobus van Wyk swooped on a stray ball after the Reds spilt the ball when attempting an interception in the ninth minute.

Nine minutes later, there was more for the 20 000-strong crowd to cheer when the Stormers took a tap-penalty some five metres out and leftwing Leolin Zas nipped in from the blindside to pounce for the side’s second try.

Flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis who had earlier delighted with a fine break which left the Reds’ central defence in disarray, converted both tries for a 14-3 lead.

The Reds reduced the deficit with a converted try by flank Liam Gill and the seven-point advance shrunk the Stormers’ lead somewhat after 22 minutes’ play.

The Stormers created several scoring chances in the play leading up to the halftime break but they failed to strike up cohesion to make their raids into the Reds territory count. Instead, they relied on Du Plessis to advance their tally with a penalty ahead of halftime.

When the teams returned the Stormers made all the play but the visitors scored two tries in the space of four minutes, totally against the run of play. On both occasions, the Reds defence was at pains to keep the Stormers out but telling counter-attacks took the home team by surprise.

First, fullback Karmichael Hunt was over in the corner for a 45th-minute try, and leftwing Eto Nabuli followed suit four minutes later when he dived over in the same corner. McIntyre managed one conversion as the Reds took the lead for the first time in the match.

The lead was short-lived as the Stormers bounced back to regain the lead through a converted try by scrumhalf Nic Groom.

Replacement flyhalf Brandon Thomson was on target with three penalties in the final 15 minutes when the Stormers put the final result beyond doubt.

The Reds will now return to Queensland as they host the Cheetahs in Brisbane next weekend while the Stormers host the Waratahs in Cape Town.

Final Score Stormers 40 (17) Reds 22 (10)

Scorers

Stormers
Tries – K.Van Wyk, L.Zas, N.Groom, V.Koch
Pen – J.Du Plessis, B.Thomson 3
Con – J.Du Plessis 3, B.Thomson
Drop –
Cards –

Reds
Tries -L.Gill, K.Hunt, E. Nabuli
Pen – J.McIntyre
Con – J.McIntyre 2
Drop –
Cards –  S. Talakai (73rd min yellow)

Match Officials
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Ref 1:Quinton Immelman
Assistant Ref 2:Cwengile Jadezweni
TMO :Shaun Veldsman

Teams

Stormers

15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Damian de Allende(captain), 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Rynhardt Elstadt, 3 Frans Malherbe , 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oli Kebble.

Replacements: 16 Mike Willemse, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Huw Jones, 23 Brandon Thomson.

Reds

1. James Slipper (C) , 2. Andrew Ready , 3. Greg Holmes , 4. Ben Matwijow , 5. Rob Simmons , 6. Hendrik Tui , 7. Liam Gill , 8. Curtis Browning , 9. Nick Frisby , 10. Jake McIntyre , 11. Eto Nabuli , 12. Anthony Fainga’a , 13. Samu Kerevi , 14. Chris Feauai-Sautia , 15. Karmichael Hunt

Replacements : 16. Saia Fainga’a , 17. Sef Fa’agase , 18. Sam Talakai , 19. Cadeyrn Neville , 20. Michael Gunn , 21. James Tuttle , 22. Duncan Paia’aua , 23. Ayumu Goromaru