QF4: Stormers 21 Chiefs 60

24 Jul 2016
QF4: Stormers 21 Chiefs 60

The Chiefs will face the Hurricanes in the Super Rugby semi-finals after crushing the Stormers 60-21 at Newlands.

The result also means that the defending champions, the Highlanders, must travel to Johannesburg next weekend to face the Lions.

The Chiefs were in a different class to their hosts, especially on attack, outscoring the Stormers eight tries to three on a bitterly cold Cape Town evening. 

The two-time champions were simply faster in everything they did and the Stormers struggled to keep up, falling behind early on.

Dave Rennie's team led 34-14 at half-time thanks to tries from Sam McNicol, Brad Weber, Tom Sanders and James Lowe. The Stormers replied via a double from Vincent Koch, but writing was clearly on the wall. 

When Chiefs full-back Damian McKenzie crossed early in the second period, any hopes of a miracle comeback evaporated.

Nizaam Carr pulled a try back for the Stormers in the dying minutes but the Chiefs finished with a bang, scoring three tries in the last five minutes as replacements Hika Elliot, Tevita Koloamatangi and Tawera Kerr-Barlow rubbed salt in the home sides' wounds. 

It started badly for the Stormers, who lost Siya Kolisi to an ankle injury and conceded the first points to McKenzie's boot inside the first five minutes.

The home side were first over the whitewash though as Koch powered over from short range. Robert du Preez added the easy extras to make it 7-3 after 10 minutes.  

The reply from the Chiefs wasn't long in coming as slick hands found McNicol out wide and the wing stepped past Jaco Taute to cross. 

The visitors' second try followed almost immediately as Lowe's break put Weber away from long range. McKenzie converted both tries, giving the Chiefs a handy lead at 17-7 by the end of the first quarter. 

The Chiefs' third came in comical circumstances. Fly-half Aaron Cruden charged down Taute in-goal before, inexplicably, Huw Jones opted to flip the loose ball backwards rather than trying get in down. Sanders had only to flop onto the ball to score. 

McKenzie's conversion and another penalty took the lead to 20 points on the half-hour mark.

Du Preez would be charged down before the half ended; Taute was able to get back to save a try but the Stormers backs weren't quick enough to prevent Lowe from chasing down his own chip ahead just before the break for the Chiefs' fourth five-pointer. 

The Stormers did rally just before the interval as Koch rumbled in very similar circumstances to his first try. Du Preez's conversion cut the gap to 20 points but the hosts had a mountain to climb as they headed into the break.

McKenzie was at the end of another series of slick backline passes by the team from Hamilton to opening the scoring in the second stanza.  

The Stormers kept fighting and came close on a handful of occasions but the Chiefs defence was as well organised and committed as their attacking game was breathtaking. 

When the wall eventually cracked it was Nizaam Carr who crashed over in the 71st minute for what was little more than a consolation try. 

The Chiefs would have the last laugh though, a well-constructed maul leading to Elliot bagging a try. Koloamatangi charged in from close range before Kerr-Barlow raced home to cap a counter-attack from inside the Chiefs half.

The scorers:

For Stormers:
Tries: Koch 2, Carr
Cons: Du Preez, Thomson

For Chiefs:
Tries: McNicol, Weber, Sanders, Lowe, McKenzie, Elliot, Koloamatangi, Kerr-Barlow
Cons: McKenzie 7
Pens: McKenzie 2

Stormers: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Schalk Burger (c), 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Ezebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Alistair Vermaak
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Frans Malherbe (c), 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Rynhardt Elstadt, 21 Nizaam Carr, 22 Louis Schreuder, 23 Brandon Thomson

Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Sam McNicol, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Stephen Donald, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (cc), 9 Brad Weber, 8 Tom Sanders, 7 Sam Cane (cc), 6 Taleni Seu, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Atu Moli, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Kane Hames
Replacements: 16 Hika Elliot, 17 Siegfried Fisi’ihoi, 18 Mitchell Graham, 19 Tevita Koloamatangi, 20 Lachlan Boshier, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Toni Pulu, 23 Shaun Stevenson

Venue: DHL Newlands, Cape Town
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Referees: Jaco van Heerden, AJ Jacobs
TMO: Johan Greeff