Blues comeback too late

Getty Images     17 Mar 2012     Getty Images

The hosts had to hold off a second-half fightback from their opponents, though, having led 25-3 at one stage.

Bryan Habana and Jean de Villiers scored tries for the Stormers either side of half-time, but Benson Stanley and Charlie Faumuina crossed for the visitors to get them back in the match.

Pietersen punished the Blues for some early indiscipline with two early penalties to put his side 6-0 in front.

And the Stormers grabbed the game's first try in the 14th minute, Habana capitalising on a lucky bounce which caught out Ben Lam to collect the ball and race for the line.

He was held, but was still able to reach for the line and score his 49th Stormers try, Pietersen missing the conversion.

The Blues slowly fought their way back into the match and a Lachie Munro penalty in front of the posts got them off the mark.

Pietersen responded with another successful kick at the other end.

Munro and Pietersen both missed penalties late in the first half, but the South African landed on right on the stroke of half-time to extend the Stormers' lead to 17-3.

The lead grew to 25-3 when the Stormers got their second try in the 50th minute, De Villiers rounding off a multi-phase move to dot down and Pietersen converting.

The hosts looked home and dry, but a strong break from Stanley earned him a try in the 56th minute which was converted by Gareth Anscombe.

And when Faumuina crossed eight minutes later to reduce the deficit to eight points with Anscombe conversion the comeback looked on.

Anscombe was then short with a penalty, Pietersen instead knocking one over at the other end to give the hosts some more breathing space.

And they held on to see out the game and maintain their impressive start to the campaign.

Scorers: Stormers 27 (Bryan Habana, Jean de Villiers tries; Joe Pietersen con, 5 pen) Blues 17 (Benson Stanley, Charlie Faumuina tries; Gareth Anscombe 2 con; Lachie Munro pen). HT: 17-3