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Stormers lower Kiwi flag in Super Rugby

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/04/2017

The Chiefs have been outgunned 34-26 by the Stormers in Cape Town, ending New Zealand's dominant start to the Super Rugby season.

Kiwi teams had won their first 15 matches against offshore opponents but the Chiefs lacked the stamina and discipline of the hosts in an entertaining clash between two unbeaten teams.

The result leaves the Stormers and Crusaders on the top of the table with six wins from six while the Chiefs drop to 5-1.

It also provided some redemption for the South African side, who were blown away 60-21 by the Chiefs in a play-off match in Cape Town last season.

The Stormers have since built their longest winning streak of six games, matching their record run in 2012, while ending a run of three losses to the Chiefs.

Soon after an early stoush between both packs which spilled over the sideline, No.8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe put the hosts in front with a try.

The Chiefs struck back with a contender for try of the season, a 95m sweeping score by winger Toni Pulu, admittedly while the Stormers were a man down following a yellow card shown to flanker Kobus Wiese.

It began with a jinking counter-attack from fullback Damian McKenzie and featured nine passes, including some sumptuous offloads.

Pulu scored again later in the half following another McKenzie bust but not before Stormers captain Siya Kolisi had crossed from close range.

First five-eighth Robert du Preez powered across on the stroke of halftime to put his team 24-18 ahead.

Long-range penalties from SP Marais either side of the break were important before the lanky fullback scored a try which proved the Chiefs didn't have a mortgage on brilliant attack. Winger Dillyn Leyds threw an unsighted, back-handed flick pass while on the ground to send Marais clear to the line.

Winger James Lowe scored soon afterwards for the Chiefs but they couldn't crack the home side's stout defence in a scoreless final quarter.

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