Pietersen too powerful as Stormers beat Highlanders

The Western Stormers remain the only unbeaten side in the Super 15 and notched up their sixth win when they out-muscled the Otago Highlanders 21-6 on Saturday.

The table-topping South Africans showed little evidence of fatigue after the long trip from Cape Town to start their Australasian tour, following a hard-fought win over the Northern Bulls.

Instead they produced a clinical performance built around a fierce defensive effort to inflict the second loss of the season on the Highlanders.

However, the competition leaders continue to find tries hard to come by and with only two against the Highlanders they are the only side in the competition without a bonus point.

However, captain Jean de Villiers said their game is about defence — which the Highlanders were unable to penetrate.

“We pride ourselves on our defence. We work terribly hard at it and we show our commitment to the team through our defence,” de Villiers said.

The Highlanders plans to play wide and tire the Stormers pack did not produce the desired result as they were stifled by close marking, and the South Africans complemented their tackling with three decisive intercepts.

The power of Pietersen
Fullback Joe Pietersen, a central figure for the Stormers, landed an early penalty before de Villiers engineered the first try, toeing the ball over the line and Gio Aplon beat Ben Smith in the race for the ball.

When the Highlanders were able to spend meaningful time in the Stormers half they never threatened the line and relied for points on the boot of Chris Noakes, who landed only two of four attempts in the first half.

The Stormers’ second try was the result of individual brilliance by Pietersen, who took the ball deep inside his own 22 and split the Highlanders defence with a run to the halfway, where he off-loaded to Juan de Jongh.

Pietersen stayed with the move to take an in-pass from Aplon and chipped past Highlanders fullback Smith to score. Peter Grant’s conversion put the Stormers ahead 15-3.

All Blacks halfback Jimmy Cowan came off the bench in the second half for his 100th Super match but not even his milestone appearance could lift the Highlanders, and the only points in the second half came from two Grant penalties to extend the Stormers’ lead. — Sapa

PW Botha wagged his finger and banned us in 1988 but we stood firm. We built a reputation for fearless journalism, then, and now. Through these last 35 years, the Mail & Guardian has always been on the right side of history.

These days, we are on the trail of the merry band of corporates and politicians robbing South Africa of its own potential.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertisting

Tension over who’s boss of courts

In a letter, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng questions whether Justice Minister Ronald Lamola has acted constitutionally

SABC sued over ‘bad’ clip of Ramaphosa

A senior employee at the public broadcaster wants compensation for claims of ‘sabotage’

Soundtrack to a pandemic: Africa’s best coronavirus songs

Drawing on lessons from Ebola, African artists are using music to convey public health messaging. And they are doing it in style

In East Africa, the locusts are coming back for more

In February the devastating locust swarms were the biggest seen in East Africa for 70 years. Now they’re even bigger

Press Releases

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders

Dimension Data launches Saturday School in PE

The Gauteng Saturday School has produced a number of success stories