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Stormers top table as Blues comeback fizzles out


David Legge


Stormers hooker Tiaan Liebenberg breaks a tackle.

Stormers hooker Tiaan Liebenberg breaks a tackle. Photo: Getty Images

CAPE TOWN: The Stormers climbed to the top of the Super Rugby table on Friday after a workmanlike 27-17 victory over New Zealand visitors the Blues at Newlands.


It was the third consecutive home victory for the Cape Town franchise since the championship started last month and four points from a bye gives them 16 four rounds into the season.

Blues winger Ben Lam sprints down the touchline.

Blues winger Ben Lam sprints down the touchline. Photo: Getty Images

That is two points more than the Chiefs of New Zealand, who were dramatic 29-22 home winners over the Brumbies in the only other Friday fixture.

Fullback Joe Pietersen kicked five penalties and a conversion from eight shots at goal while Springbok backs Bryan Habana and Jean de Villiers crossed for tries.

Centre Benson Stanley and prop Charlie Faumuina scored a try each for the Blues with fly-half Gareth Anscombe converting both and full-back Lachie Munro slotting a penalty.

It was a game of three phases with the Stormers dominating the opening half in perfect cool, still early autumn conditions and building a 17-3 half-time advantage.

The Blues had vowed to win the game as a tribute to former All Blacks skipper Jock Hobbs, who died of cancer this week, and hit back after the break to cut the gap to just seven points with 15 minutes left.

But the visitors, who upset the Bulls in Pretoria last weekend by leading from start to finish, could not maintain the momentum and a Pietersen penalty was the lone score of the closing stages.

"Had the match carried on for another five minutes we could have been in trouble," confessed Stormers centre, skipper and official man of the match De Villiers.

"We are a work-in-progress side with the backs and forwards combining much better tonight than they did against the Sharks a couple of weeks ago. My body aches just at the thought of two South African derbies coming up."

Blues captain and hooker Keven Mealamu said: Falling 21 points behind left us with too steep a mountain to climb. We have had lots of injury problems this season, but I trust the guys who have come in."

A couple of Pietersen penalties plus a Habana try after debutant wing Ben Lam was caught out by the bounce of a box kick gave the Stormers a 11-point lead before Munro narrowed the gap.

Pietersen kicked two more penalties before half-time as the Blues struggled at scrum time and when he converted De Villiers' try the home team were sitting pretty with a 24-3 lead 12 minutes into the second half.

Back come the Blues with two converted tries, but hopes of a thrilling climax did not materialise and the Stormers, semi-finalists and runners-up in the past two championships, finished stronger.

STORMERS 27 (Jean De Villiers, Bryan Habana tries Joe Pietersen con 5 pens) bt BLUES 17 (Charlie Faumuina, Benson Stanley tries Gareth Anscombe 2 cons Lachie Munro pen) at Newlands Rugby Stadium. Referee: Glen Jackson.


HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

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