Stormers defeat Chiefs in Cape Town thriller
March 10, 2013
The Stormers' Nic Groom celebrates after scoring a try against the Chiefs
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Two bonus points were all the Chiefs could claim from their 34-36 loss to the Stormers in Cape Town.
Despite scoring four tries to the Stormers' two, the Chiefs bowed to the determination of the home team desperate to get themselves on the Super Rugby points table for the first time in 2013.
It was a game that tested the discipline of the New Zealand-based team who had two players, Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Nick Crosswell, sin-binned for professional fouls and some controversial ruling from referee Jaco Peyper.
From the outset the Stormers looked an improved outfit, hitting the Chiefs with a sustained lineout drive, an area that set the standard for the rest of the game. The scrummaging power the Stormers had looked to utilise in earlier losses was of little use as a weapon - the first scrum didn't occur until 28 minutes into the game.
Lock De Kock Steenkamp had a big game in the lineouts where the Chiefs had a battle getting their hands on early ball. While Andries Bekker turned in a big performance including the initial contribution for the first try scored by wing Gio Aplon after lead-up work by first five-eighths Elton Jantjies.
The Stormers won a thriller in Cape Town%]
The Stormers also found value in mid-field running where centre Damian de Allende ran close to the advantage line with power while the consistent support of flanker Siya Kolisi was invaluable.
Aplon scored a second try when Stormers first five-eighths Aaron Cruden's kick struck a Stormers boot which rebounded for Aplon to cover and score.
The Stormers, bolster by accurate goal-kicking from fullback Joe Pietersen took a 26-17 lead to half-time.
Cruden was a significant factor in the Chiefs almost getting up for the win. When Pietersen knocked on a restart, Cruden was on hand to kick the ball through second five-eighths Charlie Ngatai to score.
He then put in a clever stab kick which sat up for Tim Nanai-Williams to pounce to touchdown.
Just after the half-time break halfback Nic Groom got over the line to score to take the side to a 33-20 lead. But the Chiefs mounted a serious challenge that saw Ngatai score his second while Andrew Horrell came on as a replacement and scored to get the Chiefs within two points.
However, the impetus for the win was lost when Crosswell was sin-binned with two minutes remaining and the home team were able to hold on.
Pietersen interspersed the try-scoring with five penalty goals, while Chiefs fullback Gareth Anscombe landed two to go with his four conversions.