Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

URC result: Shoddy Stormers punished by superb Ospreys

The Stormers were shoddy, while Ospreys by contrast were disciplined and patient, defending stoutly while taking their chances.

A dismal performance from the Stormers allowed Ospreys to stage an incredible upset as they clinched a well-deserved 27-21 bonus point win in their United Rugby Championship (URC) encounter at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday night.

It was a shoddy and error strewn performance from the Stormers, who were once again guilty of trying to overplay, as they threw multiple 50-50 passes, tried to cross kick when it wasn’t on, and made plenty of mistakes over the 80 minutes.

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Ospreys by contrast were disciplined and patient, defending stoutly while taking their chances when presented and in the end they emerged with a famous win.

Frantic start

It was a frantic start to the match, with both sides having early chances, but it was Ospreys that struck first, as from a lineout in the Stormers 22m they attacked, with a grubber through ending with right wing Luke Morgan dotting down for a 5-0 lead.

The Stormers got themselves on the board in the 13th minute as they attacked from a lineout in the Ospreys half, with the ball going through the hands before inside centre Dan du Plessis, with plenty to do, broke through, stepped a defender and went over under the poles for a 7-5 lead.

The hosts were playing an error strewn game and a knock on from eighthman Evan Roos in their 22m gave the visitors an attacking scrum deep in their territory.

This allowed Ospreys to retake the lead as they attacked from the scrum, went through a few phases before hooker Sam Parry drove his way over to score, with another missed conversion leaving the score 10-7 after 25 minutes.

It was then a disastrous end to the half for the Stormers as another mistake cost them dearly as a poor cross kick from Manie Libbok in his own half was intercepted by replacement flyhalf Jack Walsh, with him getting into the 22m and offloading to Morgan for his second try.

Walsh added the extras and the visitors had a stunning deserved 17-7 lead at the halftime break.

Perfect start

The Stormers got off to the perfect start in the second half as they scored in the 45th minute from nothing after some scrappy play saw them start a move from inside their own 22.

Outside centre Wandisile Simelane made the initial break, straightening the line and bursting into the Ospreys half, where the ball went through the hands, finally ending up with Roos who put the hammer down and sprinted away for the converted score to get them back into the game.

The home sides poor play however continued and Ospreys were able to stretch their lead against to 10 points, with their fourth try in the 63rd minute.

After a couple of strong scrums in the Stormers 22m, Ospreys attacked, bashed away at the line and flank Harri Deaves received the ball and dived over to score, with Walsh adding the extras to put them 24-14 up.

The Stormers then had multiple opportunities to get themselves back in contention as they spent over 10 minutes camped in Ospreys 22m, but were unable to get over the line as they knocked on and were turned over at crucial times.

This allowed Ospreys to eventually make their way back up the field and earn a penalty just outside the Stormers 22m, with Walsh slotting for a 27-14 lead.

The Stormers however had the final say, getting the ball back and fighting their way into the Ospreys 22m, where they sent the ball wide, only for fullback Max Deegan to deliberately slap down the ball, leading to a yellow card and penalty try as their were no more cover defenders.  


Stormers: Tries – Dan du Plessis, Evan Roos, Penalty Try; Conversions – Manie Libbok (2)

Ospreys: Tries – Luke Morgan (2), Sam Parry, Harri Deaves; Conversions – Jack Walsh (2); Penalty – Walsh