Stormers end Brumbies' unbeaten run
March 24, 2013
Gio Aplon enjoyed a big night against the Brumbies
© Getty Images
The Brumbies' unbeaten start to the Super Rugby competition has come unstuck in Cape Town, with the Stormers running out 35-22 victors. Jake White's men were gunning for a record eighth consecutive away victories and trying to match their previous best start to a season of five straight wins, and they got within three points late in the match but an intercept try to Stormers reserve back Gerhard van den Heever in the 75th minute sealed their fate.
The Brumbies remain top of the Super Rugby table, despite the loss, two points clear of the Chiefs. Their blistering effort to start the year appeared to take its toll with the Brumbies off their game, particularly in the first half.
With the exception of veteran George Smith, who had another standout game, they struggled to find their groove and made uncharacteristic handling errors and missed tackles to trail 22-10 at halftime. They also missed the attacking nous of in-form fullback Jesse Mogg, who was a late withdrawal with a shoulder injury meaning Robbie Coleman started at the back.
Thanks to four successful penalty kicks by Christian Lealiifano, the Brumbies clawed to within three points, 25-22, with 10 minutes left on the clock. That was short-lived, however, with Stormers fullback Joe Pietersen also slotting a penalty two minutes later.
The Brumbies fought hard but were no match for the Stormers in Cape Town (video available only in Australia)%]
Van den Heever's try gave the Stormers a bonus point and came after Brumbies lock Peter Kimlin tried to throw a long ball out wide. The Stormers, who have won the South African conference for the past two years, scored three first half tries with Springbok giant Andries Bekker getting across the line twice.
Stormers speedster Gio Aplon was first to touch down after running on to ball from five-eighth Elton Jantjies. He still had plenty of work to do but showed his brilliant footwork to step around Coleman in a one-on-one battle untouched. Aplon was forced off the field early in the second half when he was steam-rolled by Brumbies giant Fotu Auelua.
The Brumbies only try of the match was scored by winger Henry Speight in the 28th minute after centre Tevita Kuridrani put him through a hole.