The Brumbies arrived in coach Jake White’s home town of Cape Town after an outstanding performance against the Sharks last week looking to continue that great form.
But after setting the Super Rugby record of seven away wins in a row, the Brumbies would have a tough time of extending that record after Nic White was ruled out of the starting team early in the week. The visitors then suffered a blow on game day with fullback Jesse Mogg a late scratching with a shoulder injury.
The Brumbies started off well and weren’t showing too many nerves early on as they settled into the game. But that would change nine minutes into the game with the Stormers on the board early with a penalty goal.
Almost immediately, Stormers winger Gio Aplon busted the line with some fancy footwork and left Robbie Coleman clutching thin air as he dived over for the first try of the night.
The Brumbies got their first score from a Christian Lealiifano penalty but the Stormers started to control the ball and from a lineout five metres out, they rolled the maul and lock Andries Bekker claimed the try.
The Brumbies got their first try of the match through Henry Speight after being put through a gap from Tevita Kuridrani when not much appeared to be on. Lealiifano’s conversion closed the gap to five.
Just before half time the Stormers crossed again on the back of a handling error from the Brumbies. Andries Bekker took a pass from Elton Jantjies and strolled over from close range for his second try of the night to make it 22-10 at the half.
The Brumbies got the points rolling in the second half with a penalty goal, although they could have had more if their handling was better.
They were able to edge closer with another penalty goal and it seemed whatever Jake White said at half time was starting to sink in.
But it was errors that cost the Brumbies any chance of getting back into the game with bad handling and scrum infringements becoming a problem.
They could have shut up shop and contained the damage but they pushed on and got within three with only 10 minutes remaining with Lealiifano’s fifth penalty of the night.
That good work was undone with a Stormers penalty in the Brumbies’ 22 that saw Pietersen extend the lead to six to ensure a grandstand finish.
But the Stormers then put the game to bed after another wayward Brumbies pass fell into Gerhard van den Heever’s hands and he ran untouched to score the bonus point try with only minutes remaining.
The Brumbies head home with five points in the bag and a few things to work on before they take on the Bulls next week.
The Game Changer
The Brumbies’ handling errors all night let them down but the Stormers’ fourth try with just minutes to go halted any chance of a Brumbies comeback.
The G&GR MOTM
Andries Bekker’s two tries and general play were outstanding. For the Brumbies George Smith was best.
George Smith showed that he is more than ready to play during the Lions series with some excellent steals at the ruck.
Score & Scorers
Tries: Aplon, Bekker 2, van den Heever
Conversions: Pietersen 3
Penalties: Pietersen 3 Brumbies: 22
Penalties: Lealiifano 5
Cards & citings