In a disappointing outing at the Allianz Stadium for the Stormers, the Waratahs scored a late try to snatch the win and get their Super Rugby campaign off to a winning start.
In a tight encounter, the Stormers and the Tahs took chances to be in the lead throughout the match, but an overthrown lineout by replacement hooker Dean Muir gifted the Australians the chance to score the last converted try and win their opening Super Rugby match.
The Stormers’ scrum dominated for the greater part of the game, and although there were way too many silly mistakes and moments where they put themselves under unnecessary pressure, it was their lineout errors in the absence of first-choice hooker Bongi Mbonambi that eventually caught up with them and proved the fatal blow in a match that should never have been that close.
Tahs flyhalf Bernard Foley got the first points of the match when he slotted a penalty kick after a breakdown infringement by the Stormers (3-0), but straight afterwards the Springbok loosehead Steven Kitshoff hit back with his first Super Rugby try in brilliant style after he snuck in after a top blindside move to dive over.
SP Marais added the conversion to take the score to 3-7.
Right after that, the Waratahs regained the lead when Israel Folau, who was on fire throughout the game, showed exactly why he's rated so highly under the high ball when he gathered a kick and paced to the try line to score. Foley's conversion rook the score to 10-7.
Marais got a chance to get even again with a penalty kick in the 21st minute (10-all), but the Stormers didn't enjoy that for long as Michael Hooper broke from a maul to dive over for the converted try (17-10).
Before half time, the Stormers got another try through blindside flank Kobus van Dyk to take the half time score to 17-all.
A stunning piece of play saw Damien Fitzpatrick go in for another Waratahs try (24-17), and in the 50th minute, Marais crashed over and converted his try to level the score once again (24-all).
Two last-quarter penalty kicks by the Stormers and the Waratahs had the scoreboard locked on 27-27, but the Stormers handed the Tahs the opportunity to win the game on a silver platter when Muir overthrew the lineout ball, which led to Ned Hanigan putting his head down and crashing over to score the winning try in dramatic fashion.
Waratahs: Tries: Israel Folau, Michael Hooper, Damien Fitzpatrick, Ned Hanigan Conversions: Bernard Foley (4) Penalties: Foley (2) Yellow card: Rob Simmons
Stormers: Tries: Steven Kitshoff, Kobus van Dyk, SP Marais Conversions: SP Marais (3) Penalties: Marais (2)