Storm­ers bend knee to High­landers

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - SPORT -

THE Otago High­landers ex­tended the Storm­ers’ los­ing streak on New Zealand soil to 10 matches yes­ter­day with a 33-15 bonus point win in Dunedin.

The High­landers ran in five tries to two against the South Africans, in­clud­ing a brace for All Black full­back Aaron Smith, mak­ing it two wins from two for the sea­son.

The Storm­ers now have only one win from four, de­spite dom­i­nat­ing ter­ri­tory, leav­ing cap­tain Siya Kolisi frus­trated at his side’s er­ror rate on at­tack.

“It’s the same story ev­ery time. We didn’t hold onto the ball, we didn’t come away with points when we got to the 22 and they did,” he said.

“We can’t keep mak­ing the same mis­takes ev­ery week.”

High­landers cap­tain Ben Smith was pleased his play­ers han­dled the phys­i­cal chal­lenge meted out by the Storm­ers, who face the Auck­land Blues at home next week.

“They’re big men. We had to match that and we did,” he said.

“We didn’t help our­selves at times [with han­dling er­rors] but that’s an easy fix.”

The Storm­ers con­ceded early de­spite coach Rob­bie Fleck’s re­marks be­fore the match about the need to avoid last week’s hor­ror start against the Cru­saders, when they let in four tries in the first 20 min­utes.

All Black flanker Liam Squire crossed for a five-pointer to fin­ish a move­ment that be­gan deep within the High­landers’ own half.

But this time the Storm­ers ral­lied to strike back with two tries and take the lead.

The first from Chris van Zyl came after they doggedly worked the ball through 15 phases.

Teenage fly-half Damian Willemse then swooped on a loose pass and sprinted three-quar­ters of the length of the field as his op­po­site num­ber Lima Sopoaga chased in vain.

Aaron Smith evened the score at 12-12 after pow­er­house winger Waisake Na­holo fended off three de­fend­ers rac­ing down the touch­line to set him up.

Na­holo then scored one of his own after win­ning an aerial duel, off-load­ing and re-gath­er­ing to dot down be­tween the posts.

The High­landers were 19-15 up at half time and only a des­per­ate Storm­ers de­fence pre­vented them scor­ing ei­ther side of the break.

The pres­sure even­tu­ally told when Luke White­lock bull­dozed his way over the line after a break from cen­tre Rob Thomp­son. The High­landers looked to hit on the counter as the Storm­ers at­tacked in the fi­nal quar­ter but squan­dered two gilt-edged op­por­tu­ni­ties through han­dling er­rors.

Aaron Smith then put the re­sult be­yond doubt with two min­utes to go.


TAK­ING HIM DOWN: Stormer Damian de Al­lende, right, is tack­led by the High­landers' Dil­lon Hunt in their Dunedin match

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.