Stormers upset Force 24-8
May 18, 2014
The Stormers crashed through the Force tight defence for a strong win
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Western Force coach Michael Foley was critical of his team's attitude after their Super Rugby finals hopes took a knock with a 24-8 loss to the struggling Stormers in Cape Town. Looking for a franchise record eighth win of the season, the Perth-based side struggled to get a foothold in the game until the final quarter, by which time they were 24-3 down.
The loss left the Force in danger of finishing the round out of the top six and potentially falling to third in the Australian conference. The Stormers, who started the game early Sunday (AEST) at the bottom of the ladder, scored three tries to one. They had over 70% of possession and territory in the first half, as the Force struggled to retain the ball.
The Stormers took control on the scoreboard with 14 unanswered points either side of half-time while Force lock Adam Coleman was in the sin-bin for collapsing a maul.The Force improved in the final quarter when captain and flanker Matt Hodgson crossed for a try while the Stormers were down to 13 men, with outside backs Cheslin Kolbe and Jaco Taute in the bin. However, the visitors lacked the polish to convert any of several other late scoring opportunities.
Stormers 24-8 Force (video available in Australia only)
"I think tonight we were off from the start, and then when the opportunities came our way, we weren't able to be accurate enough to take them," Foley told AAP. "I thought the issue tonight was we were slightly off in attitude and they weren't. They were right up for it and that was pretty much the difference in the game. The bad thing about it was that it cost us the game, the good thing about it is that it's something we can address."
The visitors made several try-saving tackles before Stormers five-eighth Peter Grant kicked a 17th minute penalty to open the scoring. Grant, playing his 100th Super game then converted a 20th minute try to centre Juan De Jongh.
"They came out firing and we couldn't absorb it and couldn't go back at them," Matt Hodgson said. "We couldn't run down that lead, I thought we did a much better job in the second half and they defended quite well."
South African born five-eighth Sias Ebersohn kicked a penalty to open the Force's account, but the Stormers ruthlessly capitalised on their numerical advantage. They were awarded a penalty try just before the break, after splintering the seven-man Force scrum two minutes after Coleman was binned.
Up 17-3 at half-time, they swelled their lead to 21 before Coleman returned, as Grant converted after lock Ruan Botha scored his first Super try.