VRC Series: Glasgow beats Stormers

Henry

The ability to travel overseas and then adapt to your opponents’ playing conditions is one of the most important ingredients of any rugby team’s winning recipes.

It awaited the Stormers in the quarter-finals of the United Rugby Championship on Saturday evening in a cold, very windy and sometimes rainy Scotstoun stadium in Glasgow.

The Stormers could not master the conditions and were beaten 10-27 by the Glasgow Warriors, who ended the season undefeated at home.

The final score flattered the home side, as the Warriors scored two tries in the penalty area through Henco Venter and Ross Thomson to force a semi-final against Munster at Thomond Park in Limerick.

The Stormers, who played against the wind in the first half, actually handed the game to Glasgow, because where Scottish scrum-half George Horne kept the scoreboard rolling with two penalties and three goal kicks, the Stormers’ Springbok flyhalf Manie Libbok’s grain of wind.

He could not succeed with either of his two penalty kick attempts and could not convert either of the Stormers’ two tries.

Perhaps the Stormers should not have approached the posts against the wind in the first half and instead looked for the touchline to try to exaggerate with a rolling movement.

But then the fans would also have complained if they couldn’t score a try, because in play-off games you’d rather kick the posts.

Glasgow are very well coached (Franco Smith) and remain calm under pressure and perform their basic duties very well. Their defense is rock solid and they don’t hesitate to attack with the ball.

The Stormers lacked fire up front because Evan Roos (injured) could not play. In addition, their lock and captain, Salmaan Moerat, was punished with a yellow card after his head hit that of Nathan McBeth during a scrum.

At the back, the skills of Damian Willemse (also injured) were missed, although the talented Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu made a big impression with his skills.

The Stormers lost because the long trek to Glasgow from Cape Town haunted the back of their minds. This resulted in the concentration levels not always being as desired, because they conceded unnecessary penalties due to a lack of game discipline and missed a lot of tackles.

Smith also ensured that the Warriors remained fresh with masterful moves in the second half, where especially the rock-hard Venter made a substantial difference as a substitute for 15 minutes.

For the Stormers, the season ended disappointingly. This was of their own doing as they did not play well at the start of the series and this contributed to them finishing fifth in the standings to travel overseas for the playoffs.

How do they say again, you make your own bed and then sleep in it.

Scorers: Glasgow Warriors 27 (6). Tries: Sebastián Cancelliere, Henco Venter, Ross Thompson. Goals: George Horne (3). Penalty goals: Horne (2)

Stormers: 10 (0). Tries: Ben Loader, Paul de Wet.