The Stormers climbed off the bottom of the Super 14 rugby standings with an bonus-point 34-16 win over Australian strugglers Queensland Reds in Brisbane on Saturday.
The Cape Town-based team played enterprising rugby to come away with four tries in their third straight win in Brisbane and the sixth win in their past 10 games in Australia.
The Stormers had been winless in their opening three matches, but they produced adventurous attacking rugby to sink the Reds, who were coming off their dire 43-11 loss to ACT Brumbies the previous week.
Led by flanker Luke Watson, hooker Schalk Brits and fullback Conrad Jantjes, the Stormers ran the Queenslanders off their feet with their expansive attacking game and had three further tries disallowed by the video referee in the first half.
”We lost three on the trot and I’m elated with our first win of the tournament,” Stormers’ skipper Jean de Villiers said.
”It’s a start and we can only improve from here as we approach the Waikato Chiefs in New Zealand next week.”
Queensland had fought back from 10-8 down at half-time to hit the front 16-13 with a try by flanker Leroy Houston in the 56th minute, but the Stormers finished strongly in the final quarter.
Watson, who was held up twice over the tryline in the first half, backed up a break by the lively Brits to score in the 58th minute, replacement scrumhalf Bolla Conradie dived over in the corner and winger Tonderai Chavhanga claimed the scoring bonus point with a fourth try in the final minute.
Flyhalf Peter Grant kicked immaculately with four conversions and two penalty goals from all his goal attempts and finished the match with 19 points with his first-half try.
It was the Stormers’ third straight victory in Brisbane after 21-20 and 24-20 wins in their previous two visits in 2004 and 2006.
It was another sorry night for the hapless Reds, who made seven team changes after their much-criticised loss to the injury-hit Brumbies, but yet again their errors let them down.
Wallaby fullback Chris Latham scored his 39th Super try in the first half, and World Cup flyhalf Berrick Barnes landed two rare drop goals, while Clinton Schifcofske missed his two conversion attempts.
The Reds face more South African opposition next Saturday with the visit of defending Super 14 champions the Bulls. — AFP