Match report: Copy of Hurricanes no match for a wild storm
NZPA
June 5, 2007

The Stormers produced the upset of the Super 14 rugby season so far, blitzing the Hurricanes 30-17 in Palmerston North.

The competition's last-placed team scored four tries to two and played with far more passion and precision at FMG Stadium than a Hurricanes team who started the round in second place.

Springboks backs Jean de Villiers and Breyton Paulse grabbed two of the tries through intercepts but it was far from a lucky win for the South African side who have been heavily criticised through the first month of the tournament.

The Hurricanes lacked the starch that saw them pip the ACT Brumbies last weekend and were flattered by scoreline that was boosted by a late try.

They made a string of basic mistakes and never recovered in the face of opponents who harried them all night on defence and took their chances in lethal fashion.

The hosts lost blockbusting centre Ma'a Nonu early in the game with a knee injury but that was a flimsy excuse for their performance as he was replaced by another All Black -- Conrad Smith.

It was easily the best performance of the season from the Stormers, who were dreadful for most of last week's heavy loss to the Highlanders.

Captain Luke Watson and fellow-flanker Schalk Burger were dynamic at the breakdown while de Villiers and first five-eighth Peter Grant were the best of an adventurous back division.

Grant opened the scoring in emphatic style with a penalty kicked from inside his own half.

In the sixth minute de Villiers pounced on a loose pass in the midfield from lock Paul Tito and cruised 50m for is becoming a trademark intercept try for the blond haired flyer.

The Hurricanes responded to another Grant penalty with a slick try to winger David Smith, set up by Conrad Smith, and a Jimmy Gopperth penalty.

Up 13-10 at halftime, the Stormers took control through two well-taken tries.

The first was to No 8 Justin Melck from a scrum that had popped up but kept moving towards the Hurricanes tryline and the other to reserve back Corne Uys after a Watson cross-kick was well handled by lock Gerrie Britz.

Paulse gleefully grabbed his intercept off Brad Mika's pass, the reserve lock's first act of the game.

The Hurricanes at least scored the best try of the game, even if it was with two minutes remaining, from 90m out when David Smith busted clear and fed fullback Cory Jane.

Result of the Super 14 rugby match at FMG Stadium in Palmerston North tonight:

Stormers 30 (Jean de Villiers, Justin Melck, Corne Uys, Breyton Paulse tries; Peter Grant 2 pen, 2 con) Hurricanes 17 (David Smith, Cory Jane tries; Jimmy Gopperth pen, con, Blair Stewart con). Halftime: Stormers 13-10.

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