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Stormers stumble to South African conference title

Date

Cheetahs 6 Stormers 13

Slippery when wet ... Joe Pietersen of the Stormers is tackled.

Slippery when wet ... Joe Pietersen of the Stormers is tackled. Photo: Getty Images

BLOEMFONTEIN: Stormers made sure of winning the South African conference of the Super Rugby championship when they beat the Cheetahs 13-6 at a cold, wet Free State Stadium on Saturday.

MATCH STATS

It was the 13th win in 15 matches for the Stormers - but the Western Cape team gave a stumbling performance and maintained a dubious record of failing to secure a bonus point for scoring four tries in any of their games.

Izak van der Westhuizen of the Cheetahs.

Izak van der Westhuizen of the Cheetahs. Photo: Getty Images

They will go into the final round of league matches one point on the overall log behind New Zealand's the Chiefs. If they had secured a bonus point they would have taken top spot because of having more wins.

"They were terrible conditions," said Stormers captain Jean de Villiers. "We couldn't play too much rugby. We were actually better off not having the ball.

"We got the win. It would have been nice to have got the bonus point but we'll take the four points."

Chiefs are away to the Hurricanes in Wellington next Friday, while the Stormers host the struggling Melbourne Rebels in Cape Town a day later.

Another win will secure a home semi-final for Stormers - and they could still finish top of the log, with a potential home final, if the Chiefs slip up.

The slippery conditions made running rugby difficult for both teams, but Stormers let several try-scoring opportunities get away by holding on to the ball too long or kicking possession away.

The only try came in the 54th minute when right wing Gio Aplon ran on to a perfectly-judged chip from fly-half Peter Grant while Cheetahs full-back Willie le Roux was in the 'sin bin'.

Grant added the conversion and also kicked two penalty goals.

Cheetahs fly-half Riaan Smit landed two penalties for the home team. The teams were level at 3-3 at half-time.

With rain falling for much of the game, both teams opted to put pressure on their opponents with high kicks. Neither team was willing to run the ball the contest was largely between the forwards.

Although Stormers often got good possession, they were thwarted by solid Cheetahs' defending.

Flank Heinrich Brussow, who was not called up by new Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer for the recent series against England, was in his element, burrowing into the mauls and stealing the ball from Stormers on numerous occasions.

STORMERS 13 (Gio Aplon try Peter Grant con 2 pens) bt CHEETAHS 6 (Riaan Smit 2 pens) at Vodacom Park. Referee: Marius Jonker.

AFP

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
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Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
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FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
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RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
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Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
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RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
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RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
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Round 5
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BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
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ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
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Round 7
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ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
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FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
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IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
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SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
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Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
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