South African Conference leaders the Stormers saw their perfect start to the Super Rugby season come to an end with a shock 33-14 home defeat to the Blues.
Joe Marchant scored two tries, his first coming after seven minutes before his second on the stroke of half-time ensured the team from Auckland were 13 points clear at the interval.
That lead came despite a spell in the sin-bin for Mark Telea, who took out Sergeal Petersen while the wing was mid-air.
Juarno Augustus and Petersen scored the Stormers’ tries in the opening period but that could not prevent their first defeat in five matches as the Blues made it back-to-back victories to remain in the hunt in a competitive New Zealand Conference.
In addition to Marchant’s double, Dalton Papali’I had also scored for the visitors, with 18 points from the boot of Otere Black ensuring the Stormers were kept at bay and held scoreless in the second half of a heavy loss at Newlands.
Super Rugby 2020 | Stormers v Blues – Rd 5 Highlights@BluesRugbyTeam did the damage early on as they claimed back-to back-wins in South Africa, this time defeating @THESTORMERS 33-14 at Newlands.#SuperRugby #SuperRugby25years #STOvBLU pic.twitter.com/ycKTcURiTX
— Super Rugby/TRC (@SuperRugby) February 29, 2020
There was also misery for the other South African side to play at home on Saturday as the Bulls fell to an entertaining 39-24 defeat against the Jaguares.
Emiliano Boffelli scored two of the Argentine side’s six tries as they moved to within two points of the Stormers.
The Bulls, seeking to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat, had led 14-10 but Guido Petti and Matias Moroni scored in quick succession before half-time as the match moved decisively in the visitors’ favour.
Santiago Socino put the result beyond doubt late on despite the Jaguares’ Joaquin Diaz Bonilla being in the sin bin for tackling Rosko Specman on the ground. The Bulls had seen Johnny Kotze yellow carded earlier in the second half for a high tackle.
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