Stormers salvage late draw with Sunwolves

Akihito Yamada scored his eighth try for the Sunwolves

Vincent Koch scored a late try to help the Stormers salvage a 17-all draw with the Sunwolves in Singapore.

The Sunwolves led for most of the match and looked to be headed for their second victory until Koch scored seconds before the full time hooter.

Brandon Thomson kicked the conversion to level the scores and salvage the draw.

The result sees the Stormers remain on top of the South African Group but they move up to second place in the overall combined standings.

The Stormers delivered a poor performance by their own standards but ultimately outscored the Sunwolves by two tries to one.

The Sunwolves led 14-3 at halftime and for most of the match, they were deservedly in front on the scoreboard until the final minute when the Stormers snatched their face-saving try.

The Sunwolves surprisingly enjoyed the initiative in the opening stages when they pinned the Stormers down in their own half for most of 20 minutes.

Fly-half Jean-Luc du Plessis gave the Stormers a 3-0 lead in the fourth minute via a penalty and that turned out to be the visitors’ sole first-half score.

Thereafter the Sunwolves made the most of their territorial advantage and they went into the lead in the 11th minute when their wing Akihito Yamada nipped around the fringe of a five-metre loose scrum to dot down at the corner flag. Tusi Pisi, their flyhalf, failed to convert.

The Stormers sporadically made forays into the Sunwolves’ half and although they retained the ball through the phases they were unable to round off some promising moves.

Part of the Stormers’ problem was that the Sunwolves bossed them at the breakdown play apart few handling errors that crept into their game.

Pisi was on song from the kicking tee and by the time the halftime break he had steered three penalties, including a long-range effort, through the posts for a personal first-half tally of nine points.

The Stormers were given a fright at the start of the second half when the Sunwolves scored a try four minutes after vthe restart but it was disallowed after the New Zealand referee Paul Williams spotted an infringement on the replay which was shown on the stadium’s big screen.

Five minutes later though the Sunwolves increased their lead when Pisi on was on target with a fourth penalty.

The Stormers slowly clawed their way back into the game but they were up against a defence that was full of energy and they battled to strike cohesion in their attacking moves.

They took play up to the tryline three times in the space of four minutes without success until a driving maul opened the way for lock Pieter-Steph to barge over for the Stormers’ first try. Du Plessis goaled to add the extra points .

With time running out, the Sunwolves were producing a strong finish and it looked like they wound hang tough for an upset win until a break-out led by the mercurial Stormers’ fullback Cheslin Kolbe transferred play in dramatic fashion before substitute prop Vincent Koch crashed over a try while the full-time hooter sounded in the background.

Sunwolves captain Harumichi Tatekewa said afterwards that it was very unfortunate that his side was denied a victory. “We learnt from this experience that if we play 100% we are capable of doing well,” said Tatekewa.

Stormers co-captain Juan de Jongh said it was not the result his side wanted.

Next week play the Bulls in Pretoria while the Sunwolves travel to Brisbane to play the Reds.

Final Score Sunwolves 17 (14) Stormers 17 (3)

Scorers

Sunwolves
Tries – A.Yamada
Pen – T.Pisi 4
Con –
Drop –
Cards –

Stormers
Tries -P. du Toit, V.Koch
Pen -J.du Plessis
Con – J.du Plessis, B.Thomson
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Paul Williams
Assistant Ref 1:Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 2:Shuhei Kubo
TMO : Takashi Hareda

Teams

Sunwolves

15 Riaan Viljoen, 14. Akihito Yamada, 13 Derek Carpenter, 12 Harumichi Tatekawa (c) , 11 John Stewart, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9. Atsushi Hiwasa,. 8 Ed Quirk, 7 Andrew Durutalo, 6. Liaki Moli, 5. Fa’ Atiga Lemalu, 4. Timothy Bond, 3 Shinnosuke Kakinaga, 2. Takeshi Kizu, 1 Masataka Mikami

Replacements: 16.Shota Horie, 17 Ziun Gu, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19. Yoshiya Hosoda, 20 Taiyo Ando, 21. Yuki Yatomi, 22 Yu Tamura, 23 Mifiposeti Paea

Stormers

15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Juan de Jongh (co-captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Kobus van Wyk, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Frans Malherbe (co-captain), 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.

Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Brandon Thomson, 23 Huw Jones.

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