Stormers have to settle for draw
The Stormers conceded a late try and had to settle for a 16-all draw in their United Rugby Championship clash against the Ospreys in Swansea on Friday night.
They appeared to have control of the game and did well to keep the Ospreys at arm’s length in driving rain but their persistent opponents found reward in the 77th minute when consecutive attacking line-outs brought them a maul try.
Veteran flyhalf Stephen Myler succeeded with the difficult conversion to deadlock the scores.
Though the Stormers will feel they dropped valuable log points, the result means they kept intact their unbeaten run that now stretches across 14 matches.
They appeared to have the measure of the hosts who were laden with Welsh internationals, but they will be disappointed conceding 10 points in the last 10 minutes in challenging conditions for any attacking team.
For much of the match the visitors called on well devised and executed game management to keep the home side at bay. Their kicking game, largely though flyhalf Manie Libbok was fit for purpose and mostly on point in absolutely atrocious conditions in the second half.
Their forwards, though not having things all their own way in the scrums, put in an honest shift. Evan Roos threw his weight around in the tight loose, while loose head prop Steven Kitshoff, who was rested for their tour opener against Zebre, made a significant impact when he came off the bench in the second half. His performance was marked by strong carries.
Libbok delivered a largely composed performance and his accuracy off the kicking tee had kept the Stormers’ noses in front for much of the game. At the back Clayton Blommetjies who put his honeymoon on hold for this match and the next, kept his nerve.
Libbok opened the score with a penalty and added an impressive second from long range. The hosts however closed the gap with a penalty of their own shortly before the break and Myler added another to tie the scores in the second half.
The Stormers however landed a significant blow in the 54th minute when scrumhalf Paul de Wet streaked clear of the visitors’ defence for a converted try. Libbok’s midfield switch with fit again Leolin Zas breached the Ospreys defence and by the time the final pass was delivered De Wet had the simple task of running in unopposed.
Libbok added another penalty in the 73rd minute but the Ospreys who struggled with their execution when opportunity beckoned kept plugging away. On six previous entries into the Stormers’ 22 they came up empty-handed but they struck a telling blow when Scott Baldwin dotted down from a maul.
Libbok had a chance to win it for the Stormers but with his team on the attack his drop goal attempt drifted agonisingly wide to the right.
Ospreys (16) — Try: Scott Baldwin. Conversion: Stephen Myler. Penalties: Myler (3).
Stormers (16) — Try: Paul de Wet. Conversion: Manie Libbok. Penalties: Libbok (3).
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