Brumbies run Stormers ragged

The Brumbies, despite their obvious disappointment in not scoring a bonus-point fourth try, produced a clinical performance to beat the hapless Stormers 26-13 in Canberra on Friday.

The scoreline flatter the bumbling Stormers outfit, with the visitors’ only try coming from an 80 metre intercept by Gio Aplon, as the Brumbies were pushing for their fourth try. Even a 26-6 scoreline would have been flattering to the Stormers.

The Brumbies did everything right except bag a fourth try bonus point in what was a much improved performance by the Australian team.

Nearly every pass went to hand, while the work at the breakdown saw the home team snatch more turn-over ball as easy as someone stealing candy from a baby. There was a certainly a lot more urgency in the Brumbies attack, and whilst only three tries were scored – they can count themselves incredibly unlucky not to have bagged more.

The Stormers on the other hand were disappointing to say the least. Any hope of another eye-opening performance that was displayed against the Hurricanes last week, were quickly put to rest. Far too many turnovers, knock-on’s, missed tackles, forward passes and avoidable penalties made 80 minutes a living misery for the men from Cape Town.

Only an intercept try on full-time by Stormers full-back Gio Aplon could help make the score-line a touch more respectable for the visitors, but they were never in the game – the Brumbies made sure of that.

After suffering two home defeats so far in the tournament, the home team had to deliver the goods in front of a packed Canberra crowd. They certainly gave their fans what they wanted to see and looked more and more like the threatening side they have always been known to be.

The Stormers will now have to go back to the drawing board and pick up the pieces that were left shattered on the Canberra Stadium floor.

Besides two line-out ball getting stolen, the home team were in control from the moment Steve Walsh blew his whistle to get proceedings underway.

Clyde Rathbone was a thorn in his former countrymen’s side and went on several punishing runs in the first half, only to be denied inches from the line on all occasions.

The Brumbies did manage to cross over the whitewash ten minutes into the half after a superb break from full-back Adam Ashley Cooper down the left touchline. Springbok wing Breyton Paulse managed to slap down Cooper’s pass that was dually collected by Stormers fly-half Peter Grant. The pivot tried to clear his lines, but the kick was charged down by lock Mark Chisholm who managed to collect the ball and scamper over for the try.

Mortlock missed the tricky conversion, but made up for it five minutes later with a penalty kick for Paulse tackling a player off the ball.

Grant managed to put his team on the scoreboard and close the gap with a penalty of his own, but Mortlock made sure it wouldn’t last long by using his blue boots to bag another three points moment later.

The Stormers were dealt a cruel blow after number eight Justin Melck was judged to have played the ball off his feet and slow the game down.

The replay showed otherwise, but referee Walsh flashed his yellow card and the Stormers were not only down to fourteen men – but another three points down thanks to yet another penalty by Mortlock.

That put the score at 14-3 to the Brumbies, though it could have been worse if Mortlock hadn’t missed a dolly of a kick a few minutes later.

Grant showed that he can also do some work with the boot and kicked his second penalty of the match on the stroke of half-time. That was to be the last points the Stormers would score for a whopping 40 minutes.

The second half started a bit better for the visitors, however they still couldn’t find a way around the Brumbies defence. This could partly be blamed on the flat Stormers backline that went backwards instead of forwards

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