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Stormers down the Force to book home play off

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Cape Town’s Stormers booked a Super Rugby play off at home by beating the Western Force 3-22 with a bonus point.

The Stormers on 46 points have a 14 point lead over the Bulls (on 32) who have matches against the Sunwolves and Cheetahs remaining.

The Bulls could win both of their remaining matches with bonus points which would earn them a maximum of 42 points which is four behind the Stormers.

The result makes the Stormers winners of the Africa 1 Super Rugby Conference.

The Stormers effectively won the match with a two-try burst just ahead of the halftime break and the Force were never able to recover from this double setback, and the Cape side went on to secure their ninth win of the 2016 season.

Heavy underfoot conditions greeted the teams when they took the field and then later on intermittent showers made for a soggy and greasy pitch. That ruled out a likely spectacle of free-flowing rugby but both teams used kicks frequently as part of their gameplans.

Despite taking a pounding at the early set-scrums, the Force managed an overwhelming territorial advantage in the opening 30 minutes but they were able to capitalise. They managed a fifth minute Jonno Lance penalty which turned out to be their only first-half score.

Stormers centre Daniel du Plessis was yellow-carded in the 10th minute after a collision with Force rightwing Marcel Brache, a former Stormers player. Du Plessis suffered a heavy knock in the process but it did not stop New Zealand referee Mike Fraser from showing him a yellow card as he was stretchered off the field.

He did not return to the field and was replaced by Huw Jones.

The Force managed to pin the Stormers down in their own half for long spells and even when they enjoyed the one-man advantage they seldom threatened to cross the tryline.

The Stormers finally managed to shake off the Force’s grip on the match just past the half-hour mark and they went to produce a passage of play which produced 15 unanswered points.

Flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis who took a severe knock to the head in tackle early in the match opened his side’s scoring account with a 32nd minute penalty and three minutes ahead of the break rightwing Kobus van Wyk streaked for the first try of the match after the Stormers were foiled thrice in quick succession on the Force’s tryline.

On the stroke of halftime, the might of the Stormers’ pack again prevailed flanker Siya Kolisi rounded off a series of pick and drives with a try.
This time, Du Plessis converted to round off the first-half scoring at 15-3, giving the Stormers a 12-point cushion.

Much like the opening minutes of the first half, the momentum was with the Force when second-half play got under way. Again they failed to make any impact and then 15 minutes later, much against the run of play, the Stormers fashioned a chance after fullback Jaco Taute fielded a upfield kick. He opted to run the ball up and then set Van Wyk free down the right channels where he proved unstoppable.

Du Plessis goaled splendidly from touch as the Stormers opened a commanding 22-3 lead.

The Force produced a few promising sorties in the closing stages and one effort looked particularly good until they lost control of the ball on the Stormers’ tryline.

Next week in the final round of the regular Super Rugby season the Force travel to Canberra to play the Brumbies while the Stormers host the Southern Kings in Cape Town.

Final Score Force 3 (3) Stormers 22 (15) 

Scorers

Force
Tries –
Pen – J.Lance
Con –
Drop –
Cards –

Stormers
Tries – K.van Wyk 2, Kolisi
Pen – J.du Plessis
Con – J.du Plessis 2
Drop –
Cards – D.du Plessis (10th min yellow)

Match Officials
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 1:Graham Cooper
Assistant Ref 2:Michael Hogan
TMO :Peter Marshall

Teams

Western Force

1. Pek Cowan , 2. Harry Scoble , 3. Guy Millar , 4. Ross Haylett-Petty , 5. Rory Walton , 6. Richard Hardwick , 7. Chris Alcock , 8. Angus Cottrell , 9. Ryan Louwrens , 10. Jono Lance , 11. Luke Morahan (C) , 12. Kyle Godwin , 13. Ben Tapuai , 14. Marcel Brache , 15. Dane Haylett-Petty

Replacements : 16. Anaru Rangi , 17. Francois Van Wyk , 18. Jermaine Ainsley , 19. Matt Philip , 20. Byrnard Stander , 21. Ian Prior , 22. Peter Grant , 23. Semisi Masirewa

Stormers

15 Jaco Taute, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Daniel du Plessis, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Schalk Burger (captain), 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Alistair Vermaak.

Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 18 JP Smith, 17 Wilco Louw, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Rynhardt Elstadt, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Huw Jones, 23 Scott van Breda.

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