In another record scoreline, the Stormers’ Super Rugby nightmares on their New Zealand trip continued after they were mauled 57-14 by the Highlanders in Dunedin on Friday morning.
It was the Capetonians’ third straight loss and their second loss on tour after they were also beaten 57-24 by the Crusaders last week.
With the Highlanders teaching the Stormers a lesson in the skills department, the visitors were too narrow on attack, made huge, elementary mistakes on defence, while the intensity and hunger of the homeside as well as their ability to create space were crucial factors.
Exploiting the Stormers weak blindside defence, the Highlanders scored nine tries, with five of them in the first half, to the Stormers two.
Who was the star in this match?
With fullback Ben Smith and scrumhalf Aaron Smith not far behind, Highlanders left-wing Patrick Osborne was brilliant in his 50th game and not just because of his brace of tries. His workrate was top-drawer with his one-handed delayed pass to centre Rob Thomson just before halftime highlighting a superb performance.
Key themes and events
- After a bright eighth-minute start , when they scored the game’s opening try through eighthman Nizaam Carr, the Stormers allowed the Highlanders to take the game away from them by scoring 31 unanswered points in the first half.
- Elementary mistakes cost the Stormers, like the poor Siya Kolisi grubber which led to Osborne’s opening try, while fullback SP Marais raced out of the defensive line to open the space up for the Highlanders.
- Like the previous week against the Crusaders, the Stormers allowed the halftime deficit to grow too big due to poor decision-making on defence, while their breakdown play also suffered which allowed the Highlanders five first-half tries.
- The Stormers night of misery was probably best summed up, with them strong on attack, they lost the ball in contact allowing wing Waisake Noholo run the best of 80 meters for their sixth try in the 55th minute
Highlanders: Tries: Patrick Osborne (2), Waisake Naholo (2), Liam Squire, Rob Thomson, Dillon Hunt, Greg Pleasants-Tate, Matt Faddes. Conversions: Marty Banks (6).
Stormers: Tries: Nizaam Carr, Dewaldt Duvenhage. Conversions: Robert du Preez (2).