Stormers survive scares to top Super 15 table

Western Stormers survived several second-half scares Saturday to top the Super 15 table with a 26-21 final-round win over Melbourne Rebels at chilly Newlands.

Stormers finished with 66 points from 14 victories and two losses -- two points more than long-time pacesetters Waikato Chiefs of New Zealand, who conceded a stoppage-time try to lose at Wellington Hurricanes the previous day.

Rebels failed despite scoring three tries to the two of the Stormers, who became the first side to reach the knock-out stages of the southern hemisphere provincial championship without collecting a four-try bonus point in any match.

The South Africans went into the match against the lowly Australians knowing a victory would lift them to the top and they were comfortably placed at half-time with a 16-0 advantage.

Rebels, whose inside centre Stirling Mortlock was making his final appearance after 14 seasons of top-flight rugby union, spent much of the opening half in Stormers territory without putting any points on the board.

Stormers fly-half Peter Grant kicked two penalties and converted a try from outside centre Juan de Jongh before adding another penalty in stoppage-time to close his first-half account.

Constant Rebels pressure finally paid off 11 minutes into the second half when loosehead prop Rodney Blake was credited with a pushover try and scrum-half Nick Phipps darted over three minutes later to silence the crowd.

Full-back Julian Huxley converted both tries to leave just two points between the teams, but the Stormers responded with a try inside 60 seconds thanks to the alertness of left wing Bryan Habana.

The Springbok burst forward to gather the ball from the kick-off and a surge deep into the Rebels half ended with De Jongh going over for his second try of the match and third of the season.

Grant converted for a 23-14 lead only for replacement wing Cooper Vuna to dot down 10 minutes from time and Huxley maintained his perfect place-kicking record with another conversion to narrow the gap to two points again.

Stormers skipper and inside centre Jean de Villiers thought he scored a try with five minutes left, but the television match official was not convinced, and the referree awarded the home team a penalty instead.

Grant made it six successful kicks from six shots at goal to increase the lead to five points and the Stormers held on in a nerve-tingling finish to clinch a home semi-final and home final if they get that far.

But they had to endure several anxious minutes as Rebels pressed for the late try that could have given them victory before an off-the-ball infringement cost them a penalty and Stormers won the line-out and banged the ball into touch.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • US renews travel warning to Mindanao
    US renews travel warning to Mindanao

    The US State Department renewed its warning about the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu archipelago, certain regions and cities of Mindanao and the southern Sulu Sea area. In an update on Wednesday of a travel warning it issued Nov. 20, 2014, the State Department said US citizens should continue to defer non-essential travel to the Sulu archipelago due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there. …

  • Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda
    Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda

    The Philippine initiative to put the interests of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) front and center in global and regional trade has made significant progress following the conclusion on Thursday of the 2nd APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM2) and Related Meetings in Boracay, Aklan. Called “The Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs,” the Philippine proposal calls for a host of specific, concrete and practical interventions that APEC economies can implement to provide MSMEs wider …

  • Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week
    Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week

    The Philippines will join a 15-nation meeting in Bangkok, Thailand next week to address the migration crisis involving thousands of Rohingyas who escaped persecution in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima bared this yesterday after meeting with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) representative to the Philippines Bernard Kerblat. In an interview, De Lima said the Philippine government has been invited to the meeting. …

  • Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon
    Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon

    LEGAZPI CITY—A magnitude 4.2 earthquake hit Prieto Diaz town in Sorsogon before dawn yesterday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said. …

  • Drought-resistant rice breeds bared
    Drought-resistant rice breeds bared

    SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija – Amid the searing heat, the Philippine Rice Research Institute central experiment station here has identified nine rice breeds which have been proven to be drought-resistant and produce high yields in temperatures as high as 38°C based on a recent study. Thelma Padolina, lead researcher of the study titled “Screening of rice-induced mutants for heat and drought tolerance,” identified the breeding lines as the Ballatinaw lines, PSB Rc72H and Azucena lines. …

  • Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning
    Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning

    The United States military will continue air and sea patrols in international waters even after the Chinese navy repeatedly warned a US surveillance plane to leave the airspace over artificial islands China is creating in the disputed South China Sea. The Philippine government also declared it would continue activities in the region, calling on China to respect freedom of navigation and aviation. “Our position on the importance of letting freedom of navigation, freedom of aviation and …

  • MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned
    MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned

    Electricity and mobile phone services would be cut throughout Metro Manila, and all private and government offices and businesses, including shopping malls, would be closed. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has warned that an earthquake of that magnitude could occur and kill at least 33,500 people and injure at least 113,600 others following a movement in the West Valley Fault. The West Valley Fault has moved four times in the past 1,400 years at an interval …

  • Subaru XV now priced among sedans
    Subaru XV now priced among sedans

    Motor Image Philipinas (MIP), the authorized distributor of Subaru in the country, has positioned its brand new crossover SUV, the Subaru XV, well within the sedan segment’s price range. This move, according to MIP, was made to give the public an opportunity to experience the brand’s unique automotive technologies by lowering its price. Buyers of […] The post Subaru XV now priced among sedans appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options