Stormers too strong for Otago in Super 14

The Stormers picked up two second-half tries to keep their hopes of reaching the Super 14 semifinals alive with a 26-16 victory over the Otago Highlanders on Saturday.

Hooker Tiaan Liebenberg and his replacement Schalk Brits scored in the space of 10 minutes to break open a game that was deadlocked 9-9 at halftime.

A sluggish first half, littered with scrum restarts, featured three penalties by Stormers flyhalf Tony Brown and a 25m drop goal and two penalties by Otago pivot Mike Delany.

The Stormers took the lead with a penalty from replacement flyhalf Peter Grant at the start of the second half.

The South Africans then notched the first touchdown of the match after 50 minutes when Liebenberg evaded a tackle from Otago winger Fetu’u Vainikolo to dive over in the corner.

The Highlanders were reduced to 14 men on the hour as tighthead prop Clint Newland was sin-binned for repeated infringements.

The Stormers made it 26-9 when Brits scored his try after breaking free from a maul and Grant converted.

Vainikolo grabbed a late consolation try for the New Zealanders.

One sour note for the Stormers came in the second half when flanker Schalk Burger injured knee ligaments.

“Schalk will be out for at least six weeks,” coach Rassie Erasmus told reporters.

The Stormers are fifth in the table on 31 points and the Highlanders are 12th. - Reuters

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