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Stormers top table as Blues comeback fizzles out

Date

David Legge

STORMERS 27 BLUES 17

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.

MATCH STATS

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.

AFP

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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