Sport : Rugby Union

STORMERS' UNBEATEN RUN OVER

14th April 2012, 12:25pm

Tom Taylor: Scored all 31 points for Crusaders

Tom Taylor: Scored all 31 points for Crusaders

A 31-point haul from Tom Taylor helped the Crusaders end the Stormers' unbeaten start to the season with a 31-24 win on Saturday.

Accurate with his place kicking, the fly-half also excelled out of hand too, and it was his downfield kick four minutes from time that allowed his side to put the game to bed.

Stormers winger Gerhard van den Heever knocked it on and, from the resulting scrum a penalty was conceded, leaving Taylor to split the posts and seal the game.

It was a stunning contest, with both sides applying defensive pressure and, as a result of their respective lofty ambitions, it is unlikely to be the only time they play this season.

Taylor got the nod at number 10 ahead of Dan Carter, who was outstanding outside of him, and justified the selection when he opened the scoring with a try.

Israel Dagg and Kieran Read broke through and allowed Corey Flynn to send Taylor over the line.

Four penalties from Taylor's trusty boot kept the pressure on, but the visitors did get a try of their own when a bad pass from Carter was picked off by centre Robbie Fruean and, although the ball went to ground, it eventually found its way to Juan de Jongh who went in.

Joe Pietersen tagged the extras and then a penalty, before lock Andries Bekker left the field with a back injury while home prop Wyatt Crockett spent time in the sin bin for a high tackle.

Pietersen's boot struck the first blow of the second half and the Stormers were looking good, especially when home lock Luke Romano shelled the ball with the line at his mercy.

That allowed the Stormers to win back possession and, in the 58th minute, they drew a poor kick out of Dagg which allowed Dewaldt Duvenage to set up a try for Bryan Habana.

Pietersen was unable to nail the conversion from wide out, though, with his side left trailing 22-21 as a result.

Taylor's sixth penalty extended that deficit to four points and, when the Stormers lost Rynhardt Elstadt to a yellow card, their chances were watered down.

Defeat then became a certainty when Taylor drilled home two more three-pointers, before Peter Grant earned the Stormers a deserved bonus point with the last kick of the game.

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