West African youngster surprises with
A hat-trick inside 25 minutes from Brumbies winger Joe Tomane left the Stormers with too much to do as the South African conference champions crashed out of the Super Rugby play-offs at Newlands on Saturday.
Their second-half performance was much improved, but in the end, coach Allister Coetzee saw his side outplayed in most departments as they went down 39-19 in his final match in charge.
The Stormers were dealt a massive blow before kick-off when Schalk Burger was ruled out with a groin strain. Michael Rhodes was elevated to the starting line-up while Sikhumbuzo Notshe was promoted to the bench, but the loss of the physical Burger rang alarm bells for a Stormers side already without captain Duane Vermeulen.
The hosts were a try down after just four minutes. After some well-structured phase play, Brumbies scrum half Nic White stabbed the ball through the Stormers defence where Tomane was first to pounce – dotting down in the left corner to put the Australians 5-0 up.
Newlands was finally given reason to celebrate just five minutes after the restart when a wayward Robbie Coleman pass was intercepted by Cheslin Kolbe – the Stormers fullback running 75m to score under the posts and make it 24-13.
That sparked some life into the supporters and their side before Catrakilis and Lealiifano exchanged penalties to make it 27-16 with half an hour to play. The Stormers fly half slotted his fourth penalty to make it 27-19 as the final 20 minutes looked set to prove nail-biting.
But the breath was knocked out of the Stormers when Ita Vaea scored the Brumbies’ fifth try – Lealiifano adding the extra two to make it 34-19 as the inevitability of the result grew.
There was a late red card for Brumbies right winger Henry Speight for his off-the-ball handling of Juan de Jongh, but by that stage it was too late and the Stormers could do nothing to change the outcome of the match.
A late try from the Brumbies’ Jesse Mogg was the final nail in the coffin.
Earlier yesterday, fly half Lima Sopoaga and winger Waisake Naholo did their chances of an All Blacks call-up no harm as they helped the Highlanders to a 24-14 victory over the Chiefs in an intense play-off match in Dunedin.
The Highlanders, playing their first Super Rugby knockout at home since 1999 in front of a 22 500-strong crowd, advanced to the semifinals for the first time in 13 years with the victory.
They meet the Hurricanes in Wellington next week. hile youth football powerhouse Brazil fell to Serbia in the Fifa Under-20 World Cup final yesterday, Africa took third and fourth places at the spectacle in New Zealand.
Serbia scored a 2-1 extra-time victory over Brazil while Mali secured a bronze medal. The West Africans were the surprise package thanks largely to the attacking prowess of Adama Traoré (19), who was voted player of the tournament.
Already a regular for Lille in Ligue 1 in France, he featured for Mali’s senior side a few months before the World Cup.
But if there was one thing Traoré could never have expected, it was winning the Adidas Golden Ball, bestowed on the competition’s best player.
“I can’t believe it. I never thought I could win it. I really imagined that this trophy would be given to a Brazilian or Serbian player, not me.
“I have no idea which one gives me more joy: the bronze medal or this golden Ball. The thing I’m sure of is that I’m very happy,” Traoré told Fifa.com.
Traoré missed the African Under-20 Championship in Senegal where Mali and Ghana qualified for New Zealand ahead of South Africa.
His country then lost to Senegal in the semifinals of the continental championships.
AFRICA RISING Mali’s Malick Touré (left) and Diadie Samassékou (right) celebrate goals by Adama Traoré (centre) that helped secure bronze for the west Africans at the Fifa Under-20 World Cup. Traoré was voted player of the tournament