Thanks for tuning into the blog from wherever in the world you are. Mooseheads is about to close the doors in Canberra and there will be a few Brumbies fans slinking in to bed as the sun rises. They'll wake with sore heads from the vodkas and shots as well as knowing their team struggled in their last game of the South African tour.
It wasn't a disastrous tour by any means. The Brumbies thrashed the Durban Sharks last week. But there's plenty of room for improvement.
Stay with us next week as we bring you all the live action from Canberra Stadium from the vital clash between the Brumbies and the Pretoria Bulls.
For now, this is Blocka Dutton signing off in Cape Town. Afternoon flight tomorrow and then it's back to the Berra. Hopefully some warm weather greets me.
Good night/Good morning!
FULL-TIME: That's it from Newlands, the Stormers win 35-22 over the Brumbies in a brutal contest. The Brumbies made far too many errors for a team at the top of the competition. They couldn't get any momentum and they'll limp back to Canberra after missing out on a win and a bonus point. It's by no means panic stations. The Stormers have been the strongest South African team in recent seasons and they'll be a contender again this year. But there's plenty of work for the Brumbies to do as they return to Canberra to take on the Pretoria Bulls.
Robbie Coleman couldn't get in the game from fullback. The backs struggled to get clean ball as the Stormers' physicality gave the Brumbies a reality check after previously being unbeaten.
The Stormers scored four tries to the Brumbies' one. Somehow the Brumbies were still in the contest with 10 minutes remaining, trailing by just three points thanks to Christian Lealiifano's boot.
But an error and wayward pass allowed the Stormers to streak away and score an intercept try to seal a 13-point win at their intimidating home venue.
CAPE TOWN STORMERS 35 (Andries Bekker 2, Gio Aplon, Gerhard van den Heever tries, Joe Pietersen 3 penalties,3 conversions) bt ACT BRUMBIES 22 (Henry Speight try; Christian Lealiifano 5 penalties, conversion) at Newlands on Sunday morning. Referee: Glen Jackson. Crowd: 35,073
75: TRY STORMERS. That's the ball game. Peter Kimlin throws an intercept pass and winger Gerhard van den Heever races away to score the Stormers' fourth try with five to go. Pietersen converts and that puts them out to a comfortable lead in the dying stages. Again, it was a Brumbies error which cost them dearly. Stormers 35-22.
72: PENALTY GOAL STORMERS. The Brumbies don't release the player at the ruck and it's an easy three points for Pietersen in front of the sticks. The margin is back out to six points. Brumbies need to stay composed in these dying stages. Stormers 28-22.
69: PENALTY GOAL BRUMBIES. Now the gap is down to three as Lealiifano slots another goal from long range. The whistle could decide this one. Somehow the Brumbies are hanging in there. The Stormers have been the dominant side by far. But it's game on going into the last 10 minutes. Stormers 25-22.
66: PENALTY STORMERS. Not sure what that was for, but it looked like Robbie Coleman went in and pushed some Stormers players over the sideline and a bit of biff broke out. Hardly seemed penalty worthy. Regardless, it was. But Pietersen misses.
62: PENALTY GOAL BRUMBIES. This contest is getting brutal, especially at the breakdown. This time the Brumbies win a shot at goal within kicking distance and Lealiifano trims the margin again. Stormers lead 25-19.
56: PENALTY GOAL STORMERS. The Stormers brutal defence turns the game this time. They catch Robbie Coleman in the back field and drive him backwards almost 20 metres before winning a penalty at the breakdown. Pieterson slots it. Stormers 25-16
55: A huge hit from Matt Toomua on his opposite number, Elton Jantjies. Toomua was chasing through his own kick and Jantjies decided to take him on. Wrong move, Toomua drilled him into the ground and won a penalty for his team.
By the way, no one warned me how cold it would be tonight. We're on the top level here at Newlands and the wind is whipping around. I didn't bring a jumper and it's almost colder than Canberra Stadium in June-July.
49: PENALTY Brumbies, Lealiifano lines up the shot from almost on the sideline and about 37 metres out. He nails it. Great shot and the score is now Stormers 22-16
49: Oh boy! Fotu Auelua just steamrolled Gio Aplon. It's hardly a fair match up. Fotu is about 120 kilograms and Aplon would be lucky to push 50 kegs. The stretcher is coming out, he hasn't moved since hitting the deck. Joe Tomane showed immediate concern for the speedy Stormers winger.
47: I think we're back online with the blog. Early in the second half Christian Lealiifano slotted a penalty to close the margin to nine points. Stormers lead 22-13.
HALF-TIME: One non-game related highlight was the clash between the Fanta pants - Peter Kimlin and Steven Kitshoff. The big red heads went head to head in a tackle close to the line, Kimlin just pulling the Stormers prop down before he got across for a try.
HALF-TIME: That's the end of the first 40 minutes and the rampaging Stormers are leading by 12 points, 22-10. Brumbies haven't been able to find a comfortable groove at this intimidating ground. They've thrown woeful passes, turned over far too much possession and missed tackles they'd normally make in their sleep. Tipping a rocket from Jake White at half-time will have them fired up for the second half.
37: TRY STORMERS! That was some woeful play from the Brumbies, they're not composed tonight. They turned the ball over in the middle of the field and the Stormers showed great patience to wait for the gap. It came when flyhalf Elton Jantjies sliced through close to the line and offloaded to Bekker for his second try. Pietersen converts. Stormers 22-10.
34: Game settling down a bit now. The Brumbies need to keep the crowd out of the contest. When the Stormers make a half break, the roar is deafening.
28: TRY BRUMBIES! And see what happens when they get some ball and hold on to it... Tevita Kuridrani puts a flying Henry Speight through a gap and the Fijian races away to score the Brumbies' first try. Game on. That was the first time the Brumbies had held the ball for multiple phases in their attacking zone. Lealiifano converts. Stormers 15-10.
26: The Brumbies look tired tonight, their defence hasn't missed this many tackles all season let alone in one game. The Stormers are carving them up!
The Stormers are shutting down the Brumbies hopes of going wide and they're engaging Jake White's team in a kicking contest. It's working with the Brumbies failing to get any momentum or build pressure.
25: Sorry for the absence, the blog dropped out again!
What you missed:
PENALTY GOAL Christian Lealiifano slotted a penalty from 40 metres out to make the score 10-3.
TRY! But the Stormers hit straight back and from an attacking lineout they set up a driving maul for towering lock Andries Bekker to get their second try. Score now 15-3.
11: TRY! The Stormers get across the line first after the get the Brumbies on the back foot. Gio Aplon latches on to a superb ball from Elton Jantjies and gets in open space. He comes to fullback Robbie Coleman, but Coleman is left clutching at air as Aplon goes across untouched. Pietersen converts. Stormers 10-0.
8: PENALTY GOAL. First penalty of the game goes to the Stormers with Brumbies chasers offside. The Stormers will take the shot at goal from about 42 metres out. Joe Pietersen lines it up, it's good. Stormers 3-0.
Here's some dedication from injured Brumby David Pocock. He had to get up and drive to a friend's house in Canberra because he doesn't have foxtel.
5: We've got a bit of biff early on. The teams come together as Robbie Coleman gets flung to the ground. George Smith was through a hole, but couldn't hold on to the ball. This is going to be a tough one for the Brumbies.
2: We've got a kicking duel to star the match. Robbie Coleman changes it up with a slicing run and the Brumbies go on the front foot. Fotu smashes a sharks defender and it's game on. 0-0.
The good news keeps on coming. With the internet back up, the fireworks finished and the teams on the field we've just had biltong delivered to the media desks. #lekker.
Here we go, Stormers kicking off.
All right, after an internet meltdown at Newlands we're back online. If it drops out during the game, apologies. I've been warned it's not great here. Brumbies and Stormers about to run out. Have we got some tips out there? I'm going Brumbies by 5.
An interesting side not for tonight's game. Jake thought the Sharks were spying on his training sessions last week because they perfectly defended the Brumbies' first set move. This week he took a different tact. They moved around to different training venues in Cape Town on different days. White even got Mogg to suit up for the captain's run last night at Newlands just to make sure the Stormers didn't know his plans.
Here's all the stats and info for the match:
Newlands, Cape Town, Sunday 4:10am (AEDT)
Last meeting: Round 15 2011 - Stormers 16 bt Brumbies 3 at Canberra Stadium
Head-to-head: Played 15 Stormers 4 Brumbies 10 drawn 1
In Cape Town: Played 8 Stormers 3 Brumbies 4 drawn 1
Referee: Glen Jackson (NZL)
TV: Live, FoxSports 2
AAP writes: The unbeaten Brumbies are fast making a statement that they are the team to beat for this year’s title. Jake White’s men were at their clinical best against the Sharks, particularly in the first half as they scored four unanswered tries. However the Stormers will be fresh after a bye and looking to build on their victory over the highly-rated Chiefs. Their defence will prove more willing than the Sharks’ and it will need to be as the Brumbies revel in a non-stop attacking game.
The Stormers have their own attacking weapons in Gio Aplon, Gerhard van der Heever and Jean de Villiers but must better use them. The battle of the breakdown will be key with veteran George Smith forming a lethal combination with Ben Mowen and Fotu Auelua last week.
STORMERS: Joe Pietersen, Gio Aplon, Juan de Jongh, Jean de Villiers (capt), Gerhard van den Heever, Elton Jantjies, Dewaldt Duvenage, Duane Vermeulen, Rynhardt Elstadt, Siya Kolisi, Andries Bekker, De Kock Steenkamp, Frans Malherbe, Tiaan Liebenberg, Steven Kitshoff. Reserves: Deon Fourie, Pat Cilliers, Don Armand, Nizaam Carr, Nic Groom, Damian de Allende, Jaco Taute
BRUMBIES: Robbie Coleman, Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Lealiifano, Joseph Tomane, Matt Toomua, Ian Prior, Fotu Auelua, George Smith, Ben Mowen (capt), Sam Carter, Peter Kimlin, Dan Palmer, Stephen Moore, Scott Sio. Reserves: Siliva Siliva, Ben Alexander, Scott Fardy, Colby Faingaa, Mark Swanepoel, Zack Holmes, Clyde Rathbone.
A view from the stands at Newlands. Kick-off looming, crowd building.
Brumbies out on the field in Cape Town twitter.com/BlockaDutton/s…— Chris Dutton (@BlockaDutton) March 23, 2013
Brumbies just about to come out on the field for warm up. Stormers already out there going through their paces. This is Jake White's home town and he's got family and friends in the crowd tonight.
If you're looking for something to read before kick-off, here's a yarn on White and how the Brumbies have helped him find his love for rugby again: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/rugby-union/brumbies/how-jake-white-got-his-mojo-back-20130322-2gll7.html
We've got some team news over here in Cape Town as the chilly wind whips around the stadium.
For the Brumbies, Jesse Mogg is out. He has a shoulder injury. Robbie Coleman replaces him at fullback and Zack Holmes moves on to the bench. As reported earlier in the week, Nic White is out as well. Ian Prior to start at No9, Mark Swanepoel the back up scrumhalf.
Goooooooooooooooooooood morning Canberra (and Australia). Some of you might be just getting up and grabbing some coffee for the big game between the Brumbies and the Stormers at Newlands. Others might still be at Mooseheads belting out John Farnham's Your the Voice on the downstairs dancefloor.
Wherever you are, hopefully we see a great game here in Cape Town. I'm perched at the top of the Railway Stand sitting next to Herschelle Gibbs' father (he works for the South African press). It's pretty windy at the base of Devil's Peak mountain. Kick-off less than an hour away.