Vodacom Super 14

Stormers face Bulls in Soweto

2010-05-22 21:03
Juan de Jongh (File)
Cape Town - Flyhalf Peter Grant kicked 20 points for the Stormers who thrashed Australia's Waratahs 25-6 at Newlands on Saturday to secure an all-South African Super 14 final next week against the Bulls.

Holders the Bulls beat the Crusaders 39-24 at Orlando Stadium in Soweto, also the venue for the final, earlier on Saturday.

"The Bulls have been the form side this season. They've led the way and we've been trying to follow in their footsteps," Stormers captain Schalk Burger told reporters.

"We've made it to the final and anything can happen in a final."

The Stormers lived up to their status as the competition's best defensive team with another robust tackling display.

"It was typical semi-final stuff and it's fantastic to get through it," added Burger. "They contested the ball pretty well at the breakdown but at the end of the day we won it and that's all that matters."

The Waratahs, playing in their fourth semi-final in six years, could only trouble the scorers through the boot of flyhalf Berrick Barnes, who kicked a penalty and drop goal.

"It was a really disappointing effort," said Waratahs captain Phil Waugh. "We had our chances early and didn't accumulate points."

As they had done in their round-robin encounter which they won 27-6, the home side starved their opponents of possession and forced them to commit numerous errors, which Grant happily converted into points.

The Stormers opened the scoring in the ninth minute with a penalty by Grant, who added a second three minutes later.

The visitors had begun in determined fashion on a balmy and calm Cape Town night but Barnes missed his first kick at goal with his side enjoying a slight ascendancy.

Barnes made up for his earlier miscue with a 15th-minute penalty, followed up by a composed drop goal to level.

With both sides playing a tight, tactical game, it was the Stormers who broke the deadlock when centre Juan de Jongh scored a sensational individual try.

De Jongh, a Springbok tourist to Europe last year, received the ball 30 metres out before sidestepping his way through three would-be tacklers to dive over near the posts.

Grant added the conversion to open up a seven-point lead but the Waratahs' upper hand in the scrums kept them in touch.

The visitors were, however, undone by numerous handling errors and another missed penalty by Barnes, which could have halted the Stormers' momentum.

Grant meanwhile extended the lead to 10 points after the restart as the Australians continued to concede penalties within kicking range. A fourth Grant penalty after 55 minutes made it 19-6.

The Waratahs responded immediately with their most incisive attack of the match, only for number eight Ben Mowen to lose the ball with the line at his mercy.

Grant continued to rack up the points, his fifth and sixth penalties forcing the Waratahs to abandon their conservative game plan in search of the tries.

But the Stormers' defence continued to be unrelenting in the closing stages, leaving the near-capacity crowd of 47,976 to give their side a standing ovation after the final whistle.


Try: De Jongh
Con: Grant
Pens: Grant 6

Pens: Barnes
Drop: Barnes


Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen; 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Juan De Jongh, 11 Bryan Habana; 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Schalk Burger (c), 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg and 1 Wicus Blaauw.
Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Eusebio Guinazu, 18 Anton van Zyl, 19 Pieter Louw, 20 Ricky Januarie, 21 Willem De Waal, 22 Tim Whitehead.

Waratahs: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Tom Carter, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Ben Mowen, 7 Phil Waugh (c), 6 Patrick McCutcheon, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Al Baxter, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Dan Palmer.
Replacements: 16 Damien Fitzpatrick, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Chris Thomson, 19 Dave Dennis, 20 Josh Holmes, 21 Daniel Halangahu, 22 Rory Sidey.


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