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Stormers beat NSW, Highlanders stage comeback in Super Rugby

Stormers beat defending champion Waratahs, Highlanders defeat Crusaders in Super Rugby

Stormers beat NSW, Highlanders stage comeback in Super Rugby

The Cape Town, South Africa-based Stormers scored two late tries off New South Wales turnovers for a 32-18, bonus-point win over the defending champion Waratahs in a Super Rugby match on Saturday.

At Sydney, winger Damian de Allende scored his second try of the match with nine minutes remaining, following an intercept off the Waratahs' line. The win moved the Stormers into provisional first place in the South African conference.

Unusual handling errors from star backs Kurtley Beale and Israel Folau, and loose passing from Will Skelton, thwarted the New South Wales attack, while the usually reliable Bernard Foley had an off-night kicking, missing three from five shots, including one penalty goal.

Earlier, the Dunedin-based Highlanders scored three tries in 10 minutes on either side of halftime to rally from 14-3 down and beat the Crusaders 25-20 in an all-New Zealand match at Christchurch. Winger Waisake Naholo scored two tries, touching down in the fourth and eighth minutes of the second half for the Highlanders.

The Waratahs led 15-13 at halftime through tries to wingers Taqele Naiyaravoro in the 13th minute and Rob Horne seconds before the break. The Stormers had led 13-5 at one point after three penalties from five-eighth Demetri Catrakilis and a try to de Allende in the 21st minute.

The South Africans regained the lead six minutes after the break when Kurt Coleman's chip kick from inside his own 22 bounced into the arms of Kobus van Wyk and the winger raced 70 meters to score.

Foley slotted a penalty to cut the Stormers' advantage to 20-18 but the match was all but over when de Allende intercepted flyhalf Foley's errant pass to score his second try, and fullback Cheslin Kolbe clinched the Stormers' bonus point with a late long-range try.

"It's not easy to come to Sydney and beat the defending champions," said Stormers captain Juan de Jongh. "Our defense was rock-solid."

Waratahs captain Dave Dennis said his side wasn't good enough on the night.

"We had a really good week preparation-wise, we just didn't adjust well enough to what they threw at us," said Dennis.

The Waratahs lost for the third time in seven matches and face the unbeaten Hurricanes in Wellington, New Zealand, next week.

Later Saturday, the Western Force hosted the Bloemfontein, South Africa-based Cheetahs at Perth, Western Australia. In South Africa, the Bulls hosted the Queensland Reds in Pretoria and the Lions played the Sharks at Johannesburg.

New Zealand sides the Chiefs and Hurricanes and the Australian conference's Melbourne Rebels had weekend byes.


Scoring summaries:

Highlanders 25 (Waisake Naholo 2, Ben Smith tries; Lima Sopoaga 2 conversions, 2 penalties), Crusaders 20 (Matt Todd, Jordan Taufua tries; Colin Slade conversion, 2 penalties; Israel Dagg conversion). HT: 13-14.

Stormers 32 (Damian de Allende 2, Cheslin Kolbe, Kobus van Wyk tries; Kurt Coleman 2, Demetri Catrakilis conversions, Catrakilis 2 penalties), New South Wales 18 (Rob Horne, Taqele Naiyaravoro tries; Bernard Foley conversion, 2 penalties). HT: 13-15.

Updated : 2021-09-24 21:07 GMT+08:00