Cape Town - Vincent Koch scored a try in the last minute as the Stormers came from 14 points down to snatch a 17-17 draw against Super Rugby newcomers the Sunwolves at Singapore's National Stadium on Saturday.
As it happened: Sunwolves v Stormers
Pieter-Steph du Toit also scored for the Stormers who
extended their lead in the South African group standings with the draw
while denying the Sunwolves their second Super Rugby win.
Despite the result, Stormers coach Robbie Fleck was scathing in his assessment of his team's lacklustre display.
"We certainly don't deserve the two points, we weren't good enough," he said.
to the Sunwolves. They were very good and they put us under heaps of
pressure but certainly from our point of view we were really
disappointed with our performance."
Japanese winger Akihito Yamada
scored a try and had another disallowed as the Sunwolves looked certain
to pull off a huge upset only to fade in the last 20 minutes on a hot
and humid night in Singapore.
Yamada, who had already scored four
times in his team's two previous matches at their adopted second home,
took over as the tournament's leading tryscorer with his eighth
touchdown this season when he dived over from the back of a ruck in the
He was initially awarded a second try five minutes
into the second half but the score was cancelled out by the television
match official after replays showed that Yamada had not properly
grounded the ball.
there's a feeling it got away but we can't lose sight of what happened
in that first 79 minutes," Sunwolves coach Mark Hammett said.
"There's a lot of positives right throughout the game, both collectively and individually.
"I'm hugely proud of the team and I'm hugely proud of that game because I thought we were the better team."
Sunwolves flyhalf Tusi Pisi booted his fourth penalty shortly after to
give the fledgling Asian franchise a commanding 17-3 lead before the
Stormers took control and began to turn their domination of the set
pieces into points.
The Sunwolves blew an 18-point lead when they
lost to the Cheetahs at Singapore in March and their supporters feared
another meltdown when du Toit scored a try off the back of a driving
maul and Jean-Luc du Plessis nailed the difficult conversion to cut the
margin to seven points with 20 minutes left on the clock.
Sunwolves had the chance to shoot for a penalty that would have given
them a 10-point lead with three minutes to go but opted instead for the
lineout and paid dearly when the Stormers launched one last raid in the
Koch, who had fresh legs after coming on as a
replacement, crashed over for the try and reserve kicker Brandon Thomson
calmly added the conversion to seal the draw.
showed a lot of character to come back and get the draw," Fleck said.
"Some tough words were said at halftime, just a bit of honesty, but we
certainly weren't good enough.
"We can look for a lot of excuses but we're not that kind of outfit. We'll take it on the chin. It was a bad day at the office."
In next weekend's Round 13 action, the Sunwolves travel to Brisbane to face the Reds (Saturday, May 21 at 07:05 SA time), while the Stormers have a crucial date with the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld (Saturday, May 21 at 19:20).
15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Akihito Yamada, 13 Derek Carpenter, 12 Harumichi Tatekawa (captain), 11 John Stewart, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Atsushi Hiwasa, 8 Ed Quirk, 7 Andrew Durutalo, 6 Liaki Moli, 5 Fa’atiga Lemalu, 4 Timothy Bond, 3 Shinnosuke Kakinaga, 2 Takeshi Kizu, 1 Masataka Mikami
Substitutes: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Ziun Gu, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Yoshiya Hosoda, 20 Taiyo Ando, 21 Yuki Yatomi, 22 Yu Tamura, 23 Mifiposeti Paea
15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Juan de Jongh (co-captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Kobus van Wyk, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Frans Malherbe (co-captain), 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg
Substitutes:16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Brandon Thomson, 23 Huw Jones