CAPE TOWN – The Stormers suffered a third consecutive defeat and and conceded 50 points for the second game in a row against the Highlanders on Friday. IOL rugby writer Wynona Louw has rated the players out of ten.
SP Marais – 6.5/10: His top run and break in own 22 early on set up the Stormers’ first try and he made a number of nice runs afterwards. Badly missed a tackle on Waisake Naholo in the build-up to the winger’s try. Showed his great skills to keep the ball in the field of play after fielding a kick by the Highlanders. Ben Smith snatched that high ball from his grip just too easily in the second quarter. Kicked out on the full early on seemed like he didn’t know the ball was carried back.
Cheslin Kolbe – 5/10: I don’t know what to say about him rushing out of line anymore. He was guilty of it last week against the Crusaders and it led to two tries in Christchurch, and he did it again this week, and yet again, it left the tryline wide open for the Highlanders to capitalise – twice. Maybe he should stop looking for the intercept the whole time and just focus on getting his defence right. Because it clearly needs work.
EW Viljoen – 6/10: Messed up a high ball take in the second quarter. Made a number of big runs and produced a few nice passes, but he missed way too many tackles (four).
Dan Kriel – 5/10: Badly lost the ball in the tackle during a promising Stormers attack. There was no need for that backflip pass to Marais, I get that he wanted to confuse defenders, but he should execute it better than that as the pass went forward. Made one good break. He really needs to start looking after the ball.
Dillyn Leyds – 6/10: Knocked the ball on early on, but did well to field a kick by the Highlanders and clear after that error. Some nice, attack-assisting passes.
Robert du Preez – 6.5/10: His blundered up-and-under attempt led to a favourable bounce for the Highlanders and that resulted in a try by Patrick Osborne, of course. Badly missed a penalty attempt, and it wasn’t even a tough one. Good, clean passing. He was one of the more reliable men on defence as he made nine tackles and missed only one.
Jano Vermaak – 4/10: His service was ridiculously slow at times, so much so that it sometimes looked like he wanted to the Highlanders to snatch it up which they did. He also missed too many tackles (from the few that he did attempt).
Nizaam Carr – 7.5/10: He was an absolute star in one of the Stormers’ weakest areas – defence. Made a total of 20 tackles and didn’t miss a single one. Great run to round off a beautiful Stormers try, and that wasn’t his only one. He made a number of strong, ground-gaining carries. Produced good work at the breakdowns early on. Won a turnover at a ruck just before half time. Made a good break and put in a fine run down touch that created a potential try, but his awareness lacked as he passed the ball straight into a defender’s hands as he tried to get the pass away to Siya Kolisi behind him. Made one handling error.
Pieter-Steph du Toit – 6.5/10: Made a lot of carries and mostly took contact rather than to look for the pass, but still, he gained good ground. Made a lot of tackles and only missed one. Made just too many handling errors.
Siya Kolisi – 7.5/10: Stunning break followed by an even better step (past two defenders, by the way) before a fantastic backflip offload that put Nizaam Carr away for their first try. He carried well. Produced a few nice passes. One bad attempt off the boot. Conceded one penalty.
Jan de Klerk – 5.5/10: His horrible pass in opposition 22 handed the Highlanders possession and Naholo punished him for that with a try. At least he didn’t miss a tackle, although he didn’t make too many.
Eben Etzebeth – 6/10: His nowhere-pass in the first half let the ball go loose, and that never ended well for the Stormers during this game. He carried well again. Made a few good passes and he was one of the better tacklers in the Stormers outfit.
Frans Malherbe – 6/10: Made two good carries and put in a few good passes. Made a number of good tackles.
Bongi Mbonambi – 5.5/10: Just like I don’t know what to say about Kolbe’s tendency to come off his line, I don’t know what to say about his tendency to miss his men in the lineouts. That’s a mistake that just shouldn’t be made at this level, especially not against a side like this. He made a lot of tackles again, but he was also guilty of a handling error.
Oli Kebble – 6.5/10: Worked hard around the park – he was at almost every ruck and he made a lot of tackles. Knocked the ball on after the Stormers pinged a lineout shortly before half time. Made some good carries and delivered a few nice passes.