Hurricanes 16 - 18 Stormers

Match info: Super Rugby at

Date: 26/04/2013 KO: 08:35

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Hurricanes

TriesProctor (39) Proctor (40) Taylor (58) Taylor (59)PenaltiesBarrett (2, 25)

16
vs
18

Stormers

TriesRhodes (30) Rhodes (30) Aplon (64, 63)ConversionsPietersen (32) Pietersen (32)PenaltiesPietersen (44, 53)

FT (ht: 11-7)

  • Last Updated: April 26 2013, 12:13 BST

Tries from Matt Proctor and Andre Taylor were not enough for the Hurricanes as they went down to the Stormers in a hard-fought clash in Palmerston North.

Victor Vito with a spectacular tackle
Victor Vito with a spectacular tackle

Both teams scored two tries apiece but Hurricanes fly-half Beauden Barrett missed four of his six shots at goal in the breezy conditions, while Stormers fullback Joe Pietersen successfully kicked three of his five and that in the end proved to be the difference in the tightly-contested battle.

Debutant Proctor and Taylor scored either side of the break for the home side, while Michael Rhodes and Gio Aplon did likewise for the Stormers in a match where chances were at a premium.

Proctor did not look out of place on his debut in what would have been a difficult assignment filling in for All Black winger Julian Savea, who stood down from the squad following his appearance in court on an assault charge.

Making light of his tender years, 20-year-old Proctor went looking for work in what was a bruising and often testy encounter.

He made two strong carries and collected a high ball under pressure from Aplon before he dotted down on the stroke of half-time.

There was little space for the Hurricanes backs to work in though, with the Stormers' smothering defence tough to crack.

In the first half, with the stiff breeze behind them, Barrett kicked several well-placed touch-finders in behind the Stormers but they were never able to turn good field position into points.

Instead they had to settle for two Barrett penalties before they made the breakthrough via Proctor.

Prior to that, lock Jeremy Thrush had been sent to the sinbin for collapsing the Stormers maul as it powered its way to the line.

It was the first of several line-out drives. Another two were also collapsed by Ben Franks, who was lucky to escape a spell in the bin.

On the fourth attempt, openside flanker Michael Rhodes got the ball down and Joe Pietersen converted to give the Stormers a 7-6 lead.

The visitors looked set to be ahead at half-time, until the Hurricanes made their breakthrough via their young winger, although it was the hard work of the forwards that set up the score.

Barrett had his conversion charged down by Bryan Habana, who was playing his first game since suffering a knee injury in round three.

The Stormers started the second half strongly and a deft grubber kick by Jean de Villiers sat up nicely for Aplon, only for the winger to knock it on with the line begging.

Instead they had to settle for back-to-back Pietersen penalties to put them back in front.

The match swung the other way again in the 59th minute when Taylor dived over in the corner.

A superb jinking run from winger Alapati Leiua, reminiscent of last week's dart against the Force, got his side across the gain-line and the move was carried on twice by Brad Shields.

The blindside flanker, whose consistently strong performances have been a feature for the Hurricanes side this year, got one pass away in the tackle of Habana, then spun out of another tackle to offload the try-scoring pass to Taylor. Barrett could not add the conversion.

The Stormers had enjoyed the ascendancy in the set-piece throughout the match. They stole several Hurricanes lineouts but their second try was the result of yet another solid scrum.

It allowed number eight Duane Vermeulen to make a strong run off the back to put Aplon over in the 64th minute.

That turned out to be the match-winning score, as the Hurricanes couldn't convert two strong attacks into the Stormers' 22 into points.

The last one, nine minutes from time, was perhaps the best. But after showing good patience and stretching the Stormers defence by working through the phases, Barrett threw a long, looping pass which he didn't need to. Proctor couldn't haul it in and the Stormers hung on.


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