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Ken Borland

Burger, Kitshoff & Catrakilis the heroes as Stormers fight back 0

Posted on August 11, 2016 by Ken

Schalk Burger, Steven Kitshoff and Demetri Catrakilis were the heroes as the DHL Stormers overcame a niggly Brumbies side 25-24 in their Vodacom SuperRugby match at Newlands on Saturday night.

The indefatigable Burger spent most of the evening cleaning up after his team-mates had spilt the ball and he scored the Stormers’ only try to finally put them ahead on the hour mark.

Loosehead prop Kitshoff anchored a Stormers scrum that provided an invaluable platform in their efforts to shake off a Brumbies side that did everything they could to spoil and disrupt, playing precious little rugby themselves. Kitshoff was also huge in defence and when carrying the ball, and was often used at the front of the lineout as well.

Ultimately it was the boot of Catrakilis that kept the scoreboard moving for the Stormers, the flyhalf kicking five penalties, a conversion and a drop goal as he missed just one shot at goal.

The Brumbies had a golden chance to snatch victory at the death after fullback Jesse Mogg had raced out of his own half in an acre of space, forcing the Stormers to concede a five-metre lineout. If that defensive breakdown wasn’t bad enough, flank David Pocock was then able to stroll over through a gaping hole for a try from the lineout.

The conversion was from in front of the posts, but flyhalf Christian Lealiifano somehow managed to hit the upright, and what should have been a one-point victory for the Brumbies remained a single-point win for the Stormers.

It was a gutsy fightback from the Stormers, who at one stage trailed 3-16, and they had to overcome a horrid first half in which they looked at sixes and sevens with a ridiculously high unforced error-rate.

It started from the kickoff when the Stormers failed to exit due to poor communication and were then penalised at the scrum, Lealiifano putting the Brumbies 3-0 up.

Three minutes later, eighthman Duane Vermuelen was charging up on attack off a commanding Stormers scrum and the Brumbies went off their feet at the ruck, allowing Catrakilis to level the scores with his first penalty.

Damian de Allende’s troubles typified the Stormers’ first-half battle and the centre seemed to be bewitched as he knocked on twice in the opening minutes, gave away a penalty to Lealiifano and then scuffed a grubber attempt straight into the hands of Joe Tomane, allowing the Brumbies wing to race away for the opening try in the 14th minute.

It looked like being a magical evening in Cape Town for the Brumbies when Jesse Mogg kicked a 52-metre penalty to put them 16-3 ahead on the half-hour.

But the Stormers have a mighty scrum and the penalties they earned there gave them a foothold back in the match, starting in the 38th minute when Catrakilis made it 6-16.

As the Stormers forwards took control, the Brumbies were not willing to play along and there were constant flare-ups as their off-the-ball niggle and spoiling tactics went unpunished by weak referee Stuart Berry. Three more Catrakilis penalties either side of halftime pulled the Stormers back to within a single point (15-16) and then eventually the visitors were given a yellow card when replacement lock Jordan Smiler tried to bury Burger at a ruck by upending him.

Six minutes later, Burger, who had an awful brush with the cemetery last year, forced his way over for the Stormers’ only try, to cap another mighty performance on his amazing comeback from serious illness.

The restart meant that, for the first time in ages, the Brumbies were able to attack after being camped in their own half for most of the second half and Lealiifano slotted a penalty after Catrakilis was adjudged to have his hands in a ruck.

Catrakilis made up straight away with a brilliant 40m drop goal, but Mogg’s breakaway and Pocock’s try should have put the Brumbies in front with 10 minutes left were it not for Lealiifano’s inexplicable miss.

The victory, achieved in the most trying circumstances, means the Stormers are back in first position in the South African Conference, although the Bulls have the same number of points and a game in hand.


Stormers – Try: Schalk Burger. Conversion: Demetri Catrakilis. Penalties: Catrakilis (5). Drop goal: Catrakilis.

Brumbies – Tries: Joe Tomane, David Pocock. Conversion: Christian Lealiifano. Penalties: Lealiifano (3), Jesse Mogg.

SA bowlers the heroes 0

Posted on September 11, 2012 by Ken

South Africa’s bowlers were the heroes as the Proteas cruised to a satisfying seven-wicket victory over England in the first T20 international at the Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street on Saturday.


Dale Steyn, Johan Botha and Robin Peterson were all superb as England were restricted to 118 for seven after being sent in to bat.

South Africa were in early trouble in their reply, sinking to 29 for three before Jacques Kallis and JP Duminy killed England’s hopes with a record, unbeaten fourth-wicket stand of 90 off 90 balls.

Kallis played with typical composure, breezing to 48 not out off 44 balls, with seven fours, while Duminy handled the pressure with ease and scored 47 not out off 54 balls, collecting four fours and impressing with some clever improvisations.

Defending such a meagre total, England had to strike with the new ball and they did.

Richard Levi would have sent some chills through the home camp with two flat-batted boundaries in Steven Finn’s first over, but Jade Dernbach removed the powerful opener in his first over, caught at slip as the bowler gave him no width to work with.

The out-of-form Faf du Plessis was caught cold and trapped in front for four by Finn in the third over, but AB de Villiers played a couple of glorious strokes in scoring 10 off six balls.

But he then tried to play an ambitious square-drive off Dernbach, the ball being too full and too straight for the shot, and De Villiers was caught behind.

South Africa were in serious trouble on 29 for three in the fourth over, but they had the ideal batsmen in, with Kallis the ultimate accumulator and Duminy a busy player who can keep the scoreboard ticking over without taking too many risks.

They cashed in when Ravi Bopara was brought on, Kallis collecting successive boundaries in the seventh over, but they were content to see Graeme Swann off, the off-spinner conceding just 16 runs in his four overs.

Duminy collected successive boundaries off left-arm spinner Samit Patel in the 11th over with innovative reverse-paddles and victory was achieved in the 19th over.

Steyn and South Africa’s spin pairing of Botha and Peterson had earlier restricted England to a miserable 118 for seven.


Only a couple of England batsmen looked threatening as South Africa, having won the toss, produced a superb performance in the field with their impressive bowlers taking wickets at regular intervals.

Openers Alex Hales (11) and Kieswetter (25) gave England a solid enough start of 27 runs in 3.4 overs, but Botha and Peterson ripped through the middle order and Steyn was magnificent, grabbing only one wicket but conceding just 13 runs in his four overs.

The first wicket came via a run out as Hales came charging down the pitch for a quick single, Kieswetter ignored him and Kallis scored a direct hit running in from midwicket.

Botha has not played for South Africa for five months but the off-spinner immediately showed that he will considerably boost their chances of winning the ICC World T20 in Sri Lanka later this month as he claimed two for 19 in four overs.

Botha’s first ball spun sharply to trap Kieswetter lbw for 25 and South Africa captain De Villiers went on to the attack to further pressure England and make a mockery of their decision to bat the out-of-form Bopara at three.

Steyn returned to target Bopara, De Villiers put a slip in and the batsman rewarded their bravery outside the powerplay by edging the ball straight to Botha to be caught for just six.

Botha and Peterson troubled England with their changes of pace as much as anything on a sticky pitch. Bopara’s dismissal left the hosts on 50 for three in the eighth over, but their middle-order just faded away.

Their best batsman, Eoin Morgan, bottom-edged a sweep at a quicker delivery from Botha into his stumps to be bowled for 10, and young Jos Buttler (6) was bowled by Peterson as the canny left-arm spinner held the ball back beautifully and the batsman was through with his drive way too early.

Jonny Bairstow (15) impetuously holed out at long-on off Albie Morkel and when Peterson had Patel caught at long-off for four, the veteran Kallis taking a sprightly catch running in from the boundary, South Africa’s old problem of death bowling didn’t really matter with England 85 for seven.

Stuart Broad and Swann both scored 18 not out as they added 33 for the eighth wicket but the home side were never going to be favourites after that batting display.

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