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Stormers smash Chiefs

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Sportal.co.nz     17 Apr 2010     Getty Images

The V8s maybe in town but the Chiefs started with anything but a roar - quite the opposite.

An error-ridden, disorganised opening meant the Stormers' big men continuously rampaged over the advantage line. This allowed fullback Gio Aplon space out wide as he coasted past All Blacks' centre Richard Kahui and the fullback send right wing Sireli Naqelevuki charging upfield only for his pass to be spilled over the line.

However, referee Steve Walsh, officiating in New Zealand for the first time since March 2009, awarded the visitors a penalty which first five-eighths Peter Grant gratefully knocked over for the first points after 11 minutes.

Grant's aim was astray two minutes later as he missed an attempt from in front, but Chiefs second five-eighths Stephen Donald made no mistake to draw his side level.

Flanker Schalk Burger was denied a try in the fast-paced encounter, but Walsh judged No.8 Sione Lauaki offside and Grant restored a three-point advantage.

The Chiefs' aimless kicking and muffled counter-attack gave the Stormers a chance to break out from well inside their own half. Superb interplay between backs and forwards was finished by a long elegant Grant pass that hit Springboks' winger Bryan Habana as he went over untouched. Grant nailed the extras to put the Cape Town men up 13-3 after 23 minutes.

Mistake after mistake led to another Stormers five-pointer as margin quickly blew out. Aplon was again the instigator as he made All Blacks' halfback Brendon Leonard's attempted tackle look flimsy at best. The livewire fullback drew his opposite as No.8 Duane Vermeulen loomed up to collect the try in the right-hand corner. Grant grabbed the extra two with 12 minutes left in the half.

A deft inside ball from Hika Elliot put Tim Nanai Williams away down the left. The Chiefs' fullback chipped Aplon, but tripped and Dwayne Sweeney spilled the ball over the line as he tried to regather.

Blockbusting No.8 Sione Lauaki effortlessly pushed off Burger and popped a neat pace to send his flanking partner Latimer over under the posts. Donald converted.

Less than three minutes into the second half, the Stormers grabbed their third try. The tallest player in Springbok history, lock Andries Bekker (2.08m), made a menacing break down the right and the ball was quickly shifted left where rangy hooker Tiaan Liebenberg crashed over in the corner. Grant failed to convert but gave his side a daunting 30-10 lead with his fourth penalty.

A fourth-try bonus point was soon forthcoming as the Chiefs' defence was cut to pieces, this time Naqelevuki again proved unstoppable. Grant extended the led to 37-10 with 25 minutes remaining.

The points kept flowing.

Bekker rumbled his way over the stripe as the best defensive team in the competition looked like notching its half-century, up 42-10 with 16 minutes to play.

Young Chiefs fullback, Williams, somehow got the ball got the ball down as he headed for the corner post to bring some respectability back, although Donald failed to convert.

But Colin Bourke summed up the Chiefs night by gifting Deon Fourie the ball and the Stormers replacement hooker brushed off two weak tacklers to score. Willem de Waal added the final two points to an embarrassing scoreline.

Scorers:

Chiefs 15 (Tanerau Latimer,Tim Nanai Williams tries; Stephen Donald con, pen)Stormers 49 (Tiann Liebenberg, Andries Bekker, Duane Vermeulen, Bryan Habana,Sireli Naqelevuki, Deon Fourie tries; Peter Grant 4 con, 3 pen; Willem de Waal con)