Savea power sinks Stormers

Ardie Savea 1566174873

He produced a match-winning try for the All Blacks in the last minutes in last year's Test against the Springboks in South Africa and on Saturday night he was at it again.


With 10 minutes remaining, and down by a point 27-28, Savea charged through onto a poorly-controlled Stormers lineout just out from their 22m line. Securing the ball he got his leg drive going and produced the impetus which firstly saw second five-eighths Jordie Barrett burst through the defensive line.

Then from the ruck, brother and first five-eighths Beauden Barrett took the ball and ran hard at the line to burst his way through for the try.

Twice the Stormers kicked to the corner from penalties in the last moments but the Hurricanes' will was sufficient to hold them out.

It was disappointing for the visitors who had to cope with tough defensive demands making more than twice as many tackles as the home team. Ironically, it was the Stormers' strength, the lineout, that let them down with crucial mistakes preventing them from fully using that to their advantage.

Stormers forward power produced their two first-half tries, the last of them coming after everyone thought they were off to halftime. However, a TMO check on a tackle by flanker Vaea Fifita revealed he had hit the head of the falling Stormers player. It had a double effect for the home team.

They lost Fifita to the sin-bin while the Stormers kicked to the corner and produced the drive for hooker Bongi Mbonambi to score. It followed a 29th minute try to captain and flanker Siya Kolisi.

Equally concerning for the Hurricanes was their indiscipline which allowed wing SP Marais to land three penalty goals to give the Stormers a 21-15 halftime lead.

However, the Hurricanes had shown their own skill, largely based on their high tempo play although their first try, in the 11th minute, came from a Stormers lineout mistake close to their own line. Fifita, jumping at the front, contested the ball and won it. 

The ball was moved to the midfield where Savea made a strong surge carrying the ball to the line. From the pick and goes, it was prop Ben May with a hefty shove from behind from Savea, who scored.

Another Hurricanes period on attack, courtesy of a strong breakout by left wing Ben Lam which only failed to produce a try when there was no-one in support of him. However, from turnover ball gained by the Hurricanes, first five-eighths Jean-Luc du Plessis offended twice within a movement in the red zone and was sin-binned.

The Hurricanes took the scrum option and halfback Richard Judd ran wide then slipped a grubber kick through for Jordie Barrett to run through to score.

Restored to full strength 50 minutes into the game, the Hurricanes turned on their own lineout drive after a penalty kicked into the corner.

Fifita was strong on the ball and while the drive wasn't as effective as the Stormers, the Hurricanes put their faith in their backs. Two long passes: from Beauden Barrett to fullback Chase Tiatia and from Tiatia to wing Wes Goosen, were enough to get the ball across the field for Goosen to get in at the corner. Barrett reclaiming the lead with his sideline conversion.

However, the Stormers worked their way back into the Hurricanes 22m and with penalties being conceded at scrum time, they were able to work their lineout drive and while they needed a second attempt, they moved the ball and it was replacement Jaco Coetzee who scored by the posts.

Continuing the ebb and flow, the Hurricanes got back into the Stormers 22m area and unleashed a strong series of pick and goes before the ball was thrown to the backs. This time it was Jordie Barrett who flung the long pass to Goosen, who again made no mistake.

Scorers: Hurricanes 34 (Ben May, Jordie Barrett, Wes Goosen 2, Beauden Barrett tries; Beauden Barrett 3 con, pen) Stormers 28 (Siya Kolisi, Bongi Mbonambi, Jaco Coetzee tries; SP Marais 2 con, 3 pen). HT: 15-21

Ardie Savea 1566174873