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Stormers survive late Reds scare

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The Stormers overcame a spirited Reds fightback to beat the Queenslanders 25-19 at Newlands, Cape Town.

Filipo Daugunu’s 80th-minute 90-metre solo try pulled the Reds to within six points, setting up a thrilling denouement.

But there was no late heroics.

Damian Willemse and Raymond Rhule were outstanding for the Stormers.

This was the Reds’ 12th loss in 13 games in South Africa, dating back to 2015.

The Stormers’ pack dominated the Australians, especially Taniela Tupou and Jean-Pierre Smith, who were both penalised more than a dozen times during the 80 minutes.

Willemse gave the Stormers a 3-0 lead after some early pressure forced the visitors into transgressing the laws.

The big talking point was Tupou’s high tackle that went unpunished because the referee allowed play to continue before the television replay could be shown.

this followed a string of high and dangerous tackles by Reds players in the first-half.

Rhule set-up Dewaldt Duvenage’s 15th-minute try after some acceleration took him away from two defenders.

The wing combined with EW Viljoen, who passed inside to his scrumhalf for the opening try.

Wilco Louw powered over from close range to give his team a 15-nil lead, on 26 minutes.

Willemse’s second penalty extended the home team’s lead to 18.

The Brisbane men were reeling. However, they withstood the onslaught and found some inspiration of their own.

They hit back, either side of half-time with two tries from Caleb Timu, and Alex Mafi, making it a four-point ball-game.

Timu collected Jono Lance’s switch pass and dived over, under the posts.

Momentum change after the interval.

Straight after the restart, Justin Phillips had his kick charged down.

The Reds regathered and after some pick-and-goes, crossed for their second five-pointer when Mafi crashed over near the posts.

The next 10 minutes saw the Stormers repel the Reds with some big defence.

The rain made the ball slippery and so the handling mistakes mounted.

Then came some magic.

A wonderful first-phase move set the play in motion.

Craig Barry’s smart grubber-kick, in behind the flat Aussie defence, was collected by Rhule, making it 25-14.

Robbie fleck’s team looked to be coasting to a victory, however, there was a late scare that almost resulted in an unlikely implosion.

After Daugunu’s late score, the Queenslanders were awarded a penalty on halfway.

Lance put the ball 10 metres from the Stormers’ goal-line.

A promising Reds’ driving maul was halted, then shoved back and the Stormers held on for the win.

All’s well that ends well.

Final score: Stormers 25 (18) Reds 19 (7)

Scorers

Stormers
Tries – Duvenage, Louw, Rhule
Pen – Willemse (2)
Con – Willemse (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Reds
Tries – Timu, Mafi, Daugunu
Pen –
Con – Lance (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Ref 1: Egon Seconds
Assistant Ref 2: Rasta Rasivhenge
TMO: Christie du Preez

Teams

Stormers

15 Craig Barry, 14 Johannes Engelbrecht, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian De Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 Jacobus Janse van Rensburg.

Replacements: 16 Dean Muir, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Kobus van Dyk, 21 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 22 Justin Phillips, 23 George Whitehead.

Reds

15 Aidan Toua, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Duncan Paia’aua, 11 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ben Lucas, 8 Caleb Timu, 7 Adam Korczyk, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Alex Mafi, 1 James Slipper (captain).

Replacements: 16 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 17 Jean-Pierre Smith, 18 Sef Fa’agase, 19 Harry Hockings, 20 Scott Higginbotham, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Hamish Stewart, 23 Eto Nabuli.

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