July 14, 2024

Chiefs strangle scrappy Stormers

Cape Town – The Chiefs strangled the Stormers by 15-9 in a scrappy  Super Rugby clash at Newlands on Saturday.

Damian Willemse of the Stormers during the Super Rugby match between DHL Stormers and Chiefs at DHL Newlands Stadium on May 12, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Carl Fourie/Gallo Images)

Compared to the corresponding fixture between these two sides the last  year,  the first half  was undoubtedly  one of the worst witnessed in Super Rugby at Newlands in a long time.

It was an error  riddled  affair with both sides guilty of a plethora of handling errors. The Chiefs scored the only try of the first half after a trademark cross kick from their flyhalf Damian McKenzie. The ball bounced perfectly for center Anton Leinert-Brown who showed great anticipation whilst running brilliant supporting lines. All the home side could show for their efforts was a penalty through flyhalf  Damian Willemse.

Immediately after the break the 19-year old pivot slotted his second penalty to put his side in the lead.  Willemse was then immediately replaced by Jean-Luc du Plessis.  Du Plessis made his return to the side after recently recovering from a long-term hip injury.

Stormers coach, Robbie Fleck,  said afterwards he made the change because Willemse had been suffering with a bout of flu in the lead up to the game.   Fleck also wanted to give Du Plessis some game time as Willemse would not be available for the remainder f the campaign as he would be joining up with the South African Under-20 side for the World Cup tournament in France.

Up until that stage of the game fullback SP Marais was having an absolute shocker.  Marais made many defensive errors was unable to spark anything meaningful on attack.

Instead of substituting Marais,  the  Stormers coach  chose to replace Raymond Rhule – who was having one of his better games – with Seabelo Senatla. It would have made more sense to move Dillyn Leyds to fulback where he provides much more flair and impetus on attack.

With about 12 minutes left on the clock, the Stormers suffered the ultimate humiliation when New Zealand referee, Mike Frazer, awarded a penalty try to the visitors from Hamilton after they annihilated the Stormers scrum .

Frazer got this decision right as the Chiefs were really dominating at scrum time. However the New Zealander made some questionable decisions  in the scrums by wrongfully penalising highly rated Stormers loosehead Steven Kitshoff.

Siya Kolisi, captain of the Stormers, agreed afterwards the referee perhaps made a few calls  that cost his side dearly. Besides illegal scrumming tactics, he felt the Chiefs players got away with excessive blocking especially after a high ball was launched.

‘We are not going to complain about them blocking us when we chased the high balls. We also sometimes do it. The reality is however they far better than us in the art of blocking,” he quipped.

The Stormers coach decided to shore up his front row by replacing Springbok tighthead Wilco Louw with  Frans Malherbe and JC Janse van Rensburg replacing Kitshoff. Hooker Scarra Ntubeni  swopped with Ramone Samuels at hooker.

Unfortunately for the home side it was a case of too little too late because by then all the damage had already been done.

The Stormers now have to travel to Hong Kong to face a highly confident Sunwolves side on Saturday after the Japanese massacred the Reds  63-28 at the Chichibunomiya Stadium.


Stormers 9 (3) – Penalties: Damian Willemse (2); SP Marais

Chiefs 15 (5) –  Tries: Anton Lienert-Brown; Penalty Try, Penalty: Damian McKenzie


Stormers: 15 Sarel Marais, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Johannes Engelbrecht, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Jacobus Janse van Rensburg, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Cobus Wiese, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 23 Seabelo Senatla.

Chiefs: 15 Charlie Ngatai (captain), 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Johnny Faauli, 11 Solomon Alaimalo, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Tyler Ardron, 7 Liam Messam, 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Michael Allardice, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe.
Replacements: 16 Liam Polwart, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Jeff Thwaites, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Pita Gus Sowakula, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Shaun Stevenson.

Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nick Briant (New Zealand), Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)




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