Chiefs scrap their way past Stormers for vital Super Rugby win in Cape Town – Waikato Times



SKY SPORT

The Chiefs score penalty try to defeat the Stormers in Cape Town.

A second-half penalty try has propelled the Chiefs to an important Super Rugby victory over the Stormers in Cape Town on Sunday morning (NZ time).

A week after conceding a vital automatic seven-pointer of their own in the loss to the Jaguares in Rotorua, this time, with the same referee – Mike Fraser – officiating, it was the Chiefs who were on the right side of the call, as they went on to win 15-9 at DHL Newlands.

In a dour contest featuring plenty of handling errors from both teams in what were lovely conditions, the visitors managed to score two tries to none to bag a vital four competition points.

The Chiefs celebrate their crucial penalty try which saw them defeat the Stormers in Cape Town.

CARL FOURIE/GETTY IMAGES

The Chiefs celebrate their crucial penalty try which saw them defeat the Stormers in Cape Town.

Behind 6-5, it was a powerful scrum – a feature of the Chiefs’ day – which saw them awarded the penalty try in the 65th minute, after repeated penalties against the Stormers’ pack.

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That proved the difference, as the Chiefs held on, in a game which took on extra significance because their next fixture on tour against the Sharks will see them stripped of their All Blacks because of a clash with a national camp.

The Stormers' loss was their first at home this season.

CARL FOURIE/GETTY IMAGES

The Stormers’ loss was their first at home this season.

It certainly wasn’t vintage stuff – the Chiefs spurned several options of shooting for goal early on, in favour of lineouts, but they squandered the opportunities, and it was Stormers first five-eighth Damian Willemse who opened the scoring, off the tee, after quarter of an hour.

Spending most of the time inside their own half, the Chiefs were still able to find the game’s opening try, in the 22nd minute, when Damian McKenzie cross-kicked under penalty advantage, Solomon Alaimalo gathered after an unpredictable bounce, and linked up with Anton Lienert-Brown, who ran in to finish.

The duo teamed again down the left touch just a couple of minutes later, but this time the bounce of the ball wasn’t to be the Chiefs’ way, with a chip kick over the top eventually evading the clutches of Brad Weber.

Angus Ta'avao was a key part of the Chiefs' success, with a fine scrum platform laid.

CARL FOURIE/GETTY IMAGES

Angus Ta’avao was a key part of the Chiefs’ success, with a fine scrum platform laid.

But it was the little halfback who was quickly a saviour at the other end of the park, when it looked certain the Stormers would re-take the lead as Damian de Allende sliced through, only for the hand of Weber to pop the ball free over the goal-line.

The hosts continued to camp down the Chiefs’ end till halftime, but even with McKenzie sending a lock kick out on the full, the Stormers’ poor execution saw them unable to capitalise.

After the hooter McKenzie lined up a shot at goal from 52 metres, but it fell short and the Chiefs retained a 5-3 lead after a 40 minutes neither team would care to remember.

Brad Weber, in his first start in six weeks, was able to celebrate his 50th game in style.

CARL FOURIE/GETTY IMAGES

Brad Weber, in his first start in six weeks, was able to celebrate his 50th game in style.

While both teams were willing to spread the ball, things were again punctuated by errors early in the second spell. McKenzie had the chance to extend the margin but missed his third shot from four attempts, before the Stormers were rewarded for some smart long kicking and went in front off the boot of Willemse in the 54th minute.

The Chiefs threw everything at the Stormers in response – building 15 phases in and around the hosts’ 22m – but the home side’s defence held for some time.

At the 61st minute there was a kickable penalty option but the Chiefs opted to scrum. Another penalty came and another scrum, with a try looking imminent, only for a wayward Shaun Stevenson pass. But another penalty and another scrum then saw a huge shunt from the visitors, and there came the defining penalty try.

The icing was seemingly put on the cake in the 75th minute, when Stevenson regathered his own grubber to score, but assistant referee Nick Briant found a knock on from Charlie Ngatai in the leadup, which TMO Willie Vos could not find reason to overturn.

In any case, penalty advantage was being played, and McKenzie slotted from in front for a nine-point lead, and while SP Marais responded with two minutes left, the Chiefs weren’t to surrender late, as the Stormers found no way through from deep inside their own territory.

AT A GLANCE

Chiefs 15 (Anton Lienert-Brown try, penalty try, Damian McKenzie pen) Stormers 9 (Damian Willemse 2 pen, SP Marais pen) HT: 5-3.


 – Stuff


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