Stormers sloppy against Brumbies
In the space of a week the Stormers have gone from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Last week they were slick and clinical beating the Rebels in Melbourne. Yesterday they stumbled to a defeat that has surely killed off any home play-off hopes.
There is still hope but what they dished up yesterday was not worthy of a play-off.
The Brumbies had to make 275 tackles in a heroic defence, and had only 30% possession and 34% territory, but still outscored the Stormers by three tries to two.
As good as the Brumbies were on defence, the Stormers made it easier for them by being more predictable on attack than a knock-knock joke.
The Stormers used one-off runners and when they went wide, it was acres behind the advantage line. The Brumbies had to make their tackles, but the Stormers ran themselves up blind alleys.
The Stormers spurned several kickable penalties and when they finally aimed one at the posts, flyhalf Josh Stander skewed it horribly wide. It summed up their afternoon.
After dominating a scrappy first half in almost every way but on the scoreboard, the Stormers went into the break with something to show for their efforts thanks to a penalty try.
Brumbies wing Toni Pulu's desperate high tackle on Herschel Jantjies five metres from the tryline was initially ruled legal after the Stormers scrumhalf lost the ball when he hit the ground.
Referee Nick Bryant blew for halftime, but either saw a replay, or was informed about the infringement. With half the Brumbies team down in Newlands' bowels, they had to return to the field only to see a penalty try awarded to the Stormers and yellow card given to Pulu.
While Pulu was off the field the Stormers added a second try through tighthead Wilco Louw early in the second half, to lead for the first, and only, time.
The shortlived lead ended when Brumbies fullback Tom Banks scored to add to first-half tries by No 8 Pete Samu and lock Rory Arnold.
Both first-half tries came in the opening 10 minutes.
Stormers - Tries: Penalty try, Wilco Louw. Conversion: Josh Stander. Penalty: Stander.
Brumbies: Tries: Peter Samu, Rory Arnold, Thomas Banks. Conversions: Christian Lealiifano (2). At Newlands