Tryless Stormers lose to Blues
With the match in the balance and 15 minutes to play, Williams broke the game open with a trademark miracle pass to put Otere Black over the line.
CAPE TOWN - The Stormers suffered their second straight defeat on their New Zealand tour after going down 24-9 to the Blues in Auckland.
The first half was an entertaining 40 minutes although there was just one try. From the opening whistle, the Stormers looked to vary their play by using their big runners but also taking the play wide very often. This surprised the Blues but their defence held firm.
The first quarter was enterprising, with both teams attempting to play some rugby but handling errors spoilt most of the game's promising attacks.
The Stormers were first off the mark as Jean-Luc du Plessis knocked over two penalties to hand the visitors a 6-0 lead after 30 minutes.
The Blues struck back two minutes later with a well-worked set-piece lineout move from inside of their own half. Reiko Ioane made an incisive break and freed up his wing partner Tanieulu Tele’a finish after bumping a tame Damien de Allende tackle to cross over the line.
The Blues notched up one more penalty just before the half-time whistle and took a 10-6 lead into the break.
In the second half, the Stormers dominated the possession stats but handling errors and forward passes came back to bite them. They had just a solitary penalty to show for their attacking endeavours.
Josh Stander seemingly scored the visitor's opening try but an earlier pass in the movement was adjudged forward. It was a big mental blow to the Stormers team who never lacked effort just the execution.
Not long after that, the Blues scored their second try through flyhalf Otere Black. He gathered substitute Sonny Bill Williams' offload to extend their lead to 17-9.
With just 10 minutes to go, Tele’a got a straight red card after playing Dillyn Leyds in the air whilst collecting a kick.
This was an opportunity for the Stormers to snatch a late win with a man advantage.
A chance was squandered when substitute SP Marais missed a routine kick to bring the score to just five points which deflated the visitors' will.
Soon after, Blues winger Ioane crashed over the try line after a solid maul by the home team, that took the score to 24-9 which is the way it ended.
The Stormers will be satisfied with their performance and effort but the worrying lack of cutting edge of attack will play on their mind. Again they failed to score tries when they had good opportunities with ball in hand.
For the Stormers, they travel to Australia next to take on the Reds. Their current record is three wins and and three losses from their six matches.