Brumbies

Waratahs storm down Newlands

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The Waratahs put in a strong second-half showing to beat the Stormers 32-26 in an action-packed Super 14 match at Newlands on Saturday evening. Trailing 20-10 at the break, the Waratahs’ superior experience and quality at the back ultimately told as they managed to feast off the Stormers’ mistakes.


The Stormers nevertheless had an explosive start with flyhalf Peter Grant’s ninth-minute penalty followed by a delightful try by left wing Jongi Nokwe. Nokwe, playing only his second Super 14 match and his first at Newlands, chipped over fullback Sam Norton-Knight and scored in the left-hand corner.


The build-up play was brilliant, with left wing Ryno Benjamin coming across and feeding centre De Wet Barry, who floated a brilliant pass. Grant, whose kicking game was under scrutiny before the season got under way, converted and the Stormers led 10-0.


However, they shot themselves in the foot immediately afterwards when an attempted clearance by fullback Werner Greeff was charged down by Waratahs flank Phil Waugh and scrumhalf Chris Whitaker scored the try. Right wing Peter Hewat’s conversion meant there were only three points in it, but the blow did not appear to take the wind out of the Stormers’ sails.


They struck back with a penalty by Grant before livewire scrumhalf Bolla Conradie had Newlands on its feet by latching onto Waratahs left wing Lote Tuqiri’s careless pass in his own territory and running in for the try. Grant’s conversion made it 20-7.


The intensity of the first 20 minutes, however, dissipated and the flow in the Stormers’ game was disrupted by their inability to win their own lineout ball. They lost four of their own throws and the Waratahs immediately saw the potential of kicking to the corners.


The Australians also had the winds in their backs and as the half progressed holes started appearing in the Stormers’ defence. However, the Waratahs’ execution was not always good and barring Hewat’s 29th minute penalty the Stormers managed to see out the half without conceding further points.


It took only four minutes of playing time in the second half for the Waratahs to come within one score as the Stormers strayed off-side while frantically defending their line. Greeff’s intercept provided a glimmer of hope, but referee Bryce Lawrence immediately sounded his whistle and Hewat stepped up to slot the penalty. It was vital for the Stormers to get some momentum back and they managed to do that two minutes later as Greeff kicked a drop goal after they played themselves into the perfect position in line with the posts.


However, the Waratahs struck back shortly afterwards through a powerful run from broken play by Wallaby centre Morgan Turinui. Hewat’s conversion brought them within three points. The Stormers forwards played a good game the previous week against the Cats and their first meaningful drive on the hour mark resulted in three points as the Waratahs had no choice but to pull the maul down.


Grant stepped up to make it 26-20. Once again the Waratahs managed to hit back and this time it enabled them to take a one-point lead. The Stormers were forced to defend a lineout close to their own line after being penalised for a scrumming offence. Whitaker fed Daniel Halangahu – a first-half replacement for flyhalf Tim Donnelly – and his try under the posts was converted.


With a one-point lead and 11 minutes to go the Waratahs’ experience was always going to tell against a young Stormers team. The Stormers were made to pay a heavy price as they lost a lineout ball in their own 22-metre area and the Waratahs scored in the right-hand corner through fullback Sam Norton-Knight.


It was to be the final scoring act of the match and Hewat’s failed conversion meant that the Stormers managed to get a valuable bonus point out of the game.


They will nevertheless feel that they let slip a match that at one stage looked firmly in their grasp.


Scorers:


Stormers:


Tries:


Left wing Jongi Nokwe, scrumhalf Bolla Conradie.
Conversions: Flyhalf Peter Grant (2).
Penalties: Grant (3).
Drop goal: Fullback Werner Greeff.


Waratahs:

Tries:

Scrumhalf Chris Whitaker, centre Morgan Turinui, replacement back Daniel Halangahu, fullback Sam Norton-Knight.
Conversions: Right wing Peter Hewat (3).
Penalties: Hewat (2).

Source : Sapa /ar

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