Stormers

Hurricanes blow Stormers away

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The Hurricanes picked up a valuable bonus point as they blew away the Stormers with a convincing 34-11 victory in their Super 14 clash on Saturday.


The win not only put the Hurricanes in the top four but also strengthened their hopes of emerging from a congested top half of the ladder with a home semi-final.


However, a fourth consecutive loss and seventh of the season for the Stormers has all but ended their play-off ambitions.


Possession was shared in the match but the Hurricanes used it better as they recovered from conceding the first try to scoring two of their own in each half.


Their loose trio of Rodney So’oialo, Scott Waldrom and Victor Vito set the platform for the win with their domination of the breakdown, delivering a constant supply of ball to playmakers Ma’a Nonu, David Smith and Cory Jane.


For the Stormers, Adriaan Fondse had command of the lineouts, where the South Africans won six against the throw, but his efforts and those of tireless flanker Schalk Burger received little back up.


As a consequence it was the Stormers biggest loss of the year and the first of their seven defeats where they have not even been within seven points of the winner to claim a bonus point.


The Stormers were able to turn misfortune into success early in the match when influential skipper Jean de Villiers left the field with a leg injury.


His replacement Dylan Des Fountain, with his first touch of the ball, chipped over the line and beat Willie Ripia in the race for the ball to score the game’s opening try.


But it was to be a short-lived lead as the Hurricanes’ attacking style kept the Stormers scrambling in defence and it was only a matter of time before the points started flowing their way.


They took the lead with a quick one-two, starting with a Ripia penalty after 15 minutes and from the restart Jeremy Thrush finished off the try of the game which began from a penetrating run by Hurricanes wing David Smith.


He found support from Alby Mathewson who was brought down in the shadow of the posts and was able to flick the ball up to big lock Thrush running off his shoulder.


A blindside move from a scrum sent Tamati Ellison over and two Ripia conversions, following by a penalty by his Stormers opposite Peter Grant had the Hurricanes ahead 17-8 at the turn.


Ripia and Grant exchanged penalties early after the restart before two tries by Nonu settled the outcome.


With the bonus point in the bag and the win assured, the Hurricanes appeared to ease off the intensity of their game in the final 18 minutes while the luckless Stormers saw points go begging with JD Moller, Grant and Sireli Naqelevuki all dropping the ball with the try line at their mercy.


Sapa-AFP Super Rugby

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