Albany - Flyhalf Chris Noakes kicked six penalties to lift the Auckland-based
Blues to an 18-17 win over the Stormers in Super Rugby on
Noakes became the first Blues player to kick six penalties
in a match, missing only one attempt at goal as his team heavily
punished the Cape Town-based Stormers for lapses in composure and
Just as the outcome of the match seemed clear, with the
Blues leading 15-3 and 15 minutes remaining, Stormers centre and
captain Jean de Villiers ran in two exceptional tries to all but snatch a
VIDEO: Blues v Stormers highlights
GALLERY: Stormers v Blues
The Stormers held the ball through more than 20 phases in
stoppage time to set up a dropped goal chance for replacement flyhalf
Elton Jantjies but his attempt went harmlessly astray.
lost 12-11 to the Reds last weekend, beaten by a late
penalty, but avoided a repeat of that experience on Friday and posted
their fifth win from nine matches.
Auckland's North Shore, where
the match was played, has a substantial population of expatriate South
Africans and they outnumbered Blues fans, though they saw the Stormers
lose for the fifth time in nine games.
The Stormers expected to
dominate the match through set-pieces and stout defense and, while their
defence was again impenetrable, their set-piece play was not as
flawless as it has been in recent weeks. They hoped to use rolling mauls
from a lineout dominated by the lock Andries Bekker to attack the
Blues' line but that tactic faltered when their kicking for touch was
The Blues struggled to hold their own at scrums
but they answered the threat of the Stormers' lineout without conceding
penalties for collapsing mauls. As the Stormers' frustrations grew,
mainly through the ineffectiveness of their own game, their errors were
punished with penalties.
Noakes kicked three goals for the Blues
to lead 9-3 at half-time. The Stormers had come close to a try when an
outstanding break by fullback Joe Pietersen, linking with wing Gio
Aplon, broke the home defense but, from the breakdown, Bekker was
brought down an inch short of the line.
Noakes kicked two more
penalties to extend the lead to 15-3 after 65 minutes and the Stormers
had begun to look ragged. But de Villiers, in outstanding form, first
calmed them and spurred their revival.
He scored in the 65th
minute, just forcing his way across the line after a break by his
midfield partner Juan de Jongh, then scored from his second try from his
own solo break in the 77th minute.
That left the Stormers only a
point behind and though they had several possessions in the last three
minutes, and for all four minutes in stoppage time, they couldn't save
15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Francis Saili, 12
Jackson Willison, 11 Rene Ranger, 10 Chris Noakes, 9 Piri Weepu, 8
Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Ali Williams (captain), 4
Culum Retallick, 3 Angus Ta'avao, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tom McCartney
16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Anthony Boric, 19 Brendon
O'Connor, 20 Jamison Gibson-Park, 21 Baden Kerr, 22 Lolagi VisiniaStormers:
Joe Pietersen, 14. Gio Aplon, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Jean de Villiers
(captain), 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Gary van Aswegen, 9. Dewaldt Duvenage,
8. Duane Vermeulen (vice-captain), 7. Rynhardt Elstadt, 6. Siya Kolisi,
5. Andries Bekker, 4. De Kock Steenkamp, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Deon
Fourie, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16. Scarra Ntubeni, 17.
Pat Cilliers, 18. Eben Etzebeth, 19. Nizaam Carr, 20. Louis Schreuder,
21. Elton Jantjies, 22. Damian de Allende