Stormers pip tough Hurricanes
Cape Town - The Stormers scored a 39-26 win over Wellington Hurricanes in a Super 15 match at Newlands Saturday - but suffered what could prove a major blow when captain Schalk Burger was injured early on.
Springbok flank Burger, touted to take over the South African Test captaincy from the retired John Smit, twisted his left knee awkwardly in a tackle in the 14th minute and left the field on a stretcher.
He was immediately taken to hospital for a scan.
The Stormers charged into a 23-9 lead after 35 minutes with the New Zealand visitors reduced to 13 men after props Tristan Moran and Ben May had been given yellow cards. Wing Gio Aplon and Siya Kolisi, who replaced Burger, scored tries.
But the Hurricanes came back into the game after the first-half hooter when centre Tim Bateman scored a converted try.
Despite conceding the bulk of possession, the Hurricanes drew level seven minutes after half-time when Barrett intercepted a floated pass from stand-in Stormers captain Jean de Villiers and ran 50 metres to score a try he converted.
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee blamed a "lack of concentration" for his team losing their grip.
The home team went ahead with two penalties but the Hurricanes had a chance to take the lead when replacement hooker Motu Matu'u lost the ball in crossing the line near the posts in the 61st minute.
Poor discipline and the whistle of referee Marius Jonker hurt the Hurricanes.
A third prop, replacement Jeff Toomaga-Allen, was yellow-carded late in the game for collapsing a Stormers driving maul that resulted in a penalty try.
Stormers fullback Joe Pietersen punished the New Zealanders with five penalty goals and missed two other attempts.
Jonker also issued a white card when an unidentified Hurricanes player tripped Stormers centre Bryan Habana. The match commissioner will review a recording of the match and could issue a retrospective yellow card.
Barrett scored 21 of his team's points with a try, two conversions and four penalties.
The Stormers made a host of errors in their opening game of the season, but always looked the team more likely to score against a Hurricanes outfit which lost several key players during the off-season.
Tall Stormers lock Andries Bekker, who missed the 2011 Rugby World Cup because of injury, was prominent at the lineouts and in several driving mauls that won the home team large slices of territory.
Tries - Gio Aplon, Siya Kolisi, penalty try
Conversions - Joe Pietersen (3)
Penalties - Pietersen (5)
Drop goal - Gary van Aswegen
Tries - Tim Bateman, Beauden Barrett
Conversions - Barrett (2)
Penalties - Barrett (4)