Blues come up short in Cape Town

Getty Images     20 May 2017     Getty Images

In a fiery encounter between two desperate teams, the Blues had the edge in most facets of the game but were let down by their ill-discipline. With the game up for grabs at 19-20 with 12 minutes to play, wing Matt Duffie was red-carded for a late tackle and the Stormers scored immediately to stretch their advantage beyond seven points. 


In the end it was a bridge too far for a 14-man Blues side as the Stormers clung onto a hard fought victory.

While the Blues discipline let them down late in the game, it was the Stormers who lamented early when lock Eben Etzebeth was yellow carded for instigating a scuffle close to the line. Normally known for his grunt work up front, Charlie Faumuina turned playmaker by setting up two quick tries for the Blues.

In the first, he attracted three defenders before offloading to George Moala for a simple try under the posts. Faumuina showed a quick turn of pace in the second to stretch the Stormers defence before popping a superb ball to Captain James Parsons to score.

Trailing 12-3 with time up in the first half, Stormers captain Siya Kolisi made the brave decision to go for a lineout instead of taking a shot at goal. The skipper was rewarded when he muscled over from the ensuing lineout drive to make it 12-10 to the Blues at halftime.

Sonny Bill Williams showed his danger early in the second half when he joined the forwards for a pick and go from the base of the ruck. Attracting a number of defenders, Williams popped a trademark offload to put impressive loose forward Blake Gibson over.

Gibson’s try stretched the Blues lead to 19-10 and the Stormers were lucky to not go down to 14 men when Shaun Treeby was penalised for a swinging arm on Piers Francis.

The dangerous tackle resulted in Francis leaving the field injured and put the Blues hot on attack. In a crucial period of play, the Blues pressed on the Stormers line but couldn’t finish their opportunities.

The final quarter belonged to the Stormers as they began to find holes in the Blues defence and crossed for tries to Sikhumbuzo Notshe and Dillyn Leyds to secure the hard fought win.

The loss leaves the Blues on the foot of the New Zealand conference ladder after 12 games and their playoff hopes hanging by a thread.

Scorers: Stormers 30 (Siya Kolisi, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Dillyn Leyds tries, SP Marais 3 pen, 3 con) Blues 22 (George Moala, James Parsons, Blake Gibson tries, Piers Francis 2 con, Bryn Gatland pen)

HT: 10-12