DESPITE a decent comeback after halftime, the Stormers never really looked like they could pull off an unlikely victory against the Crusaders in Christchurch. The home team took a healthy 31-7 lead into halftime and eventually ran out 45-28 victors over the Cape based side.
Wilco Louw, Cobus Wiese and Damian de Allende had decent outings but this Stormers team seems to lack quality in too many positions to be serious play off contenders. Ramone Samuels is a very good ball carrier and does more than his share on defence but his line out throwing is not up to the standard required for a good Super Rugby hooker. The back up hooker, Dean Muir, has also shown that he’s not the answer and the Stormers will be hoping that either Bongi Mbonambi or Scara Ntubeni will return from injury soon.
None of the experienced forwards, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi or Nizaam Carr really put their hand up on the night and the Stormers were bossed at the collisions by Sam Whitelock and co and struggled to get any momentum and before they knew it, the Saders had 31 points on the board.
At the back Seabelo Senatla and Raymond Rhule were mere spectators, SP Marais made a few school boy errors and EW Viljoen had no impact on the game. Dillyn Leyds tried hard at fly half and Damian de Allende looks like he’s slowly but surely returning to his best form. Dewaldt Duvenhage is slow and one dimensional and Robbie Fleck could very well turn to rookie, Justin Phillips, next week to add a bit of pace and flair to the number 9 position.
du Toit was stretchered off the field after he took a knock from Richie Mo’unga and could be doubtful for next week’s game against the Highlanders in Dunedin. Damian Willemse will come straight back into the team should he be declared fit as the Stormers looks thin at fly half with Leyds (who normally plays in the back three) starting and George Whitehead, who is a Currie Cup quality player at best, on the bench as fly half cover.
The Stormers will hope to turn things around next Friday 8h35am SA time against the Highlanders at the Forsyth Barr Stadium but even the most staunch Stormers supporters won’t be too keen take the morning off from work.
Tries: George Bridge, Codie Taylor, Billy Harmon, Bryn Hall, George Bridge, Seta Tamanivalu, Richie Mo’unga
Conversions: Mo’unga (5)
Tries: JC Janse van Rensburg, Wilco Louw, JD Schickerling, Steven Kitshoff
Conversions: SP Marais (3), George Whitehead
15 David Havili, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Peter Samu, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Wyatt Crockett
Substitutes: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Chris King, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Manasa Mataele
15 SP Marais, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Dillyn Leyds, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 JC Janse van Resnburg
Substitutes: 16 Dean Muir, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Kobus van Dyk, 22 Justin Phillips, 23 George Whitehead
Headline picture: Newshub