Vodacom Super 14

Stormers humiliate Highlanders

2010-03-06 19:45
Bryan Habana (File)
Cape Town - A dominant performance by the Stormers forwards enabled the home team to score a comfortable 33-0 win over the Highlanders in a Super 14 southern hemisphere championship match at Newlands on Saturday.

The Stormers scarcely got their hands on the ball in the opening exchanges as the New Zealand team made a strong start.

But fullback Israel Dagg missed an early penalty attempt and after his Stormers' counterpart Joe Pietersen landed a successful kick in the ninth minute the Stormers took control on a hot afternoon.

Two of the Stormers' four tries were the direct result of driving mauls by the forwards and visiting prop Jamie Mackintosh admitted: "We knew they had a great pack of forwards and they really took it to us today. We just couldn't break through and they dominated at the contact areas."

Stormers captain Schalk Burger, who scored one of the tries in his comeback match after injury, said it was a much-improved performance by his team after a disappointing home defeat by Australia's Brumbies last weekend.

"We needed to turn it around and we did," said Burger.

While the Stormers maintained a strong defensive record, it was the first time in the season that they secured a bonus point for scoring four tries.

"Our defence has been reasonably good but we need to work a bit on the attack," said Burger.

The Stormers kept the Highlanders under pressure with powerful driving and Andries Bekker was a towering presence in the lineouts, winning his own ball and stealing several Highlanders throw-ins, they scored only one try in the first half.

Hooker Deon Fourie scored the first try in the 14th minute but it took another 46 minutes for the Stormers to cross the line again. A driving maul made more than 20 metres of territory before Burger peeled away to score.

Eight minutes later Burger's replacement, Pieter Louw, scored from another forward drive.

The Highlanders seldom threatened but twice they got to within a metre of the Stormers line before being repulsed by fierce defence.

Springbok wing Bryan Habana sealed the bonus point in the last minute when a Highlanders kick was charged down and he raced upfield, twice booting the ball ahead before gathering to score.

The win took the Stormers into the top four on the log with three wins from four matches.

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