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Stormers sink Blues in last minute

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Sportal.co.nz     21 May 2011     Getty Images

The Blues had punished some poor Stormers play in the first half to get out to a 19-3 lead at the break but then stormed home in a more purposeful final quarter to take the game.

The final try came from a penalty conceded by the Blues on their 22m line. The ball was kicked to the corner and the Stormers were able to launch their only lineout drive of the game and it produced the match-winner for Burger who finally satisfied the TMO that there was no reason why a try should not be awarded.

Replacement first five-eighths Dewaldt Duvenage landed the winning conversion to get the Stormers' tour back on track after their loss last week. The loss was the second by the Blues in successive weeks.

The Stormers almost paid the price for failing to hold onto the ball in the first 10 minutes to blow two try scoring chances which failed to capitalise on an overwhelming territorial advantage they enjoyed. Instead, in the 11th minute it was a downfield kick by fullback Conrad Jantjes which was fielded by second five-eighths Luke McAlister, who had sent the original kick to Jantjes.

He fed flying fullback Lachie Munro, who created space for first five-eighths Stephen Brett, he side-stepped past a defender and raced into open territory. As the defence closed he slipped the pass to supporing halfback Alby Mathewson who scored. When landing the second of four first half penalty goals, McAlister posted his 100 points for the season.

Senior players in the Stormers side had uncharacteristically poor first halves. Flanker Schalk Burger threw poorly weighted passes which arrived too quickly for catchers causing the ball to be dropped while Test wing Bryan Habana appeared to be out of sorts with some poor option-taking, the worst being carrying the ball over the goal-line after a kick through by the Blues. He had copped a tough blow while just having kicked the ball and taking a hit from a committed flanker Jerome Kaino.

With eight minutes left in the first half flanker Francois Louw was another international with a flawed approach when committing a professional foul 25m from the Stormers line at a ruck. He was sin-binned for his pains and the Blues landed the penalty goal to go up 19-3.

The Stormers also lost their second string first five-eighths Lionel Cronje midway through the first half with a leg injury.

Finally, the visitors had their reward after moving the ball through several phases midway through the second half. Second five-eighths Juan de Jongh and centre Johann Sadie worked the ball cleverly for de Jongh to shrug off the tackles of Munro and Mathewson to score.

Three minutes later wing Gio Aplon moved onto a ball touched in flight from first five-eighths Stephen Brett. He charged through tackles and when the ball was moved wide it was Sadie's turn to cut through as the home defence was torn to shreds. That brought the score back to 19-18.

However, in the 67th minute a lineout turnover saw replacement flanker Chris Lowrey charge ahead into the Stormers' half. The ball was moved and when arriving on the wing for replacement Rene Ranger, he made the most of it by placing a grubber kick towards the centre. Munro and centre Jared Payne pressured the defence and when the Stormers couldn't control the ball it was Munro who dropped on it to score. McAlister's conversion put the Blues eight points clear.

Scorers: Blues 26 (Alby Mathewson, Lachie Munro tries; Luke McAlister 2 con, 4 pen ) Stormers 28 (Juan de Jongh, Johann Sadie, Schalke Burger tries; Dewald Duvenage 2 con, 2 pen; Lionel Cronje pen). HT: 19-3