Stormers beat Western Force 24-8 in Super Rugby
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — The Stormers lifted themselves off the foot of the Super Rugby table by bringing down the high-flying Western Force 24-8 on Saturday.
The Force had won seven of their last eight games by bossing the breakdown and being clinical on the counterattack, but they found that gameplan blocked out by a hungry Stormers outfit that opened up a 24-3 lead in the first 47 minutes.
Juan de Jongh’s and Ruan Botha’s tries were supplemented by a penalty try as the home side dominated possession and territory for the first 60 minutes before shutting up shop.
Although Matt Hodgson scored with 10 minutes to go after the hosts were reduced to 13 men by two yellow cards, the Force never looked likely to overcome the deficit.
The Force’s success had also been based on a solid defense, and although it was on display early on as the Stormers launched wave after wave of attack, the dam burst in the 19th minute when the ball was spread wide for De Jongh to cruise over.
The Force immediately hit back with a penalty from Sias Ebersohn, but the Stormers’ pressure continued and led to a yellow card for Adam Coleman shortly before halftime.
With the lock off the field, the Force scrum disintegrated on its own tryline minutes later, and referee Chris Pollock awarded a penalty try that gave the hosts a 17-3 lead at the break.
Botha extended the advantage when he charged over from short range after a strong build-up by the Stormers, which effectively put the game to bed.
Although the Force were invited onto the front foot as the Stormers wound down, their attack made an impression only through Hodgson’s try after Cheslin Kolbe and Jaco Taute were sent to the sin-bin.
Stormers 24 (Juan de Jongh, Ruan Botha tries; penalty try; Peter Grant 3 conversions, penalty), Western Force 8 (Matt Hodgson try; Sias Ebersohn penalty). HT: 17-3.