It was an early start for a Saturday in order to catch the Super 15 Stormers vs. New Zealand’s Chiefs in Hamilton as my home side kicked off their Australasia tour.
But I should have stayed in bed.
Leading 20-3 at half time, the Stormers lost their magic and let through 27 points against them in the second half, scoring only three of their own, resulting in a 23-30 loss.
‘Disgusting’ is the best word to describe the Stormers’ performance in the second half, which is exactly how captain Schalk Burger described it in the post match interview.
The Stormers simply could not hold onto the ball and Gio Aplon went from the hero who scored a brilliant first-half try to villain who body-checked Chiefs centre Richard Kahui in the try zone, opening the floodgate for the Chief’s points scoring in the second-half.
With Aplon yellow-carded, the home side was able to score two more quick tries while he was off the field.
Conceding penalties in kickable positions also did the Stormers no favours.
Hopefully they can regain their winning streak next week when they take on the Blues at the House of Pain. They had best iron out their mistakes now to avoid a repeat of last year when they had the best point difference throughout, and beat all the New Zealand franchises yet couldn’t pull off a win in the final.
A dip now is okay, so long as they regain their peak in a hurry.
However, other South African franchises lifted the spirits somewhat.
The Lions ended a losing streak that has dogged them for the past seven games by pulling off a brilliant 29-20 away game victory over the Australian Brumbies, making it their second win in the competition thus far.
It was also 16 years since they lost won a match in Canberra.
The Bulls thrashed the Melbourne Rebels 47-10 at Loftus while the Cheetahs’ 33-20 victory over the Crusaders in Bloemfontein caused an upset for the New Zealand side and did the Stormers a favour by preventing the Crusaders from collecting any points.
The Sharks picked up four points from their second bye in the competition and moved on to 43 points – a point behind the Stormers who still hold their confernce top spot despite their dismal performance against the Chiefs.
On the English football front my team Manchester United broke the record for holding the most English League titles after they were crowned champions for the 19th time after drawing 1-1 with Blackburn Rovers in an away game on Saturday afternoon.
Wayne Rooney scored a penalty in the 73rd minute after Javier Hernandez was fouled in the penalty area by Rovers keeper Paul Robinson.
This gave United the opportunity to equalise and secure the much needed point after they were trailing by a goal down in the first half, preventing their last game against Blackpool at Old Trafford next week from being the decider.
Manchester City ended their 35-year silverware drought when they lifted the FA Cup on Saturday afternoon after beating Stoke City by one goal in the second half courtesy of goal scorer Yaya Touré.
In local soccer, the tightly contested PSL was brought to a standstill this weekend due to the semi finals of the Nedbank Cup challenge that saw Orlando Pirates and Black Leopards advance to the final on May 28.
The Buccaneers beat Mpumalanga Black Aces by one goal in extra time while Black Leopards defeated Baroka FC 3-1 in a penalty shoot out after the game ended 2-2 after extra time. — Yugendree Naidoo