West African young­ster sur­prises with

CityPress - - Sport -

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

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