Last-minute try earns Cardiff thrilling win over Stormers
A last-minute try from replacement prop Rhys Litterick earned Cardiff a thrilling 31-24 United Rugby Championship victory over the DHL Stormers in a pulsating game at the Arms Park.
The home side were second best in terms of possession and territory but were the more clinical to achieve a morale-boosting bonus-point win.
Cardiff’s other tries came from Gabriel Hamer-Webb, Liam Belcher and Mason Grady with Tinus de Beer adding four conversions and a penalty.
Ruhan Nel scored two tries for Stormers, Andre-Hugo Venter the other with Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu kicking three conversions and a penalty.
It took Stormers only four minutes to take the lead when Venter finished off a driving line-out.
Cardiff’s poor start continued when de Beer’s restart went straight into touch and they were made to pay when Nel crashed over to reward a sustained period of pressure.
The home side’s woes continued when Harri Millard was forced to leave the field to fail an HIA after being on the receiving end of a thumping tackle from Jean Luc du Plessis.
Cardiff opened their account when De Beer made amends for a couple of basic errors by creating an excellent try.
The fly-half sliced through a gap before his well-timed kick ahead was collected by Millard’s replacement, Hamer-Webb to score.
Feinberg-Mngomezulu kicked a penalty to extend the visitors’ lead but Cardiff roared back into contention with another impressive try.
Grady ran strongly down the left flank before Lopeti Timani made a further dent in the defence with Belcher on hand to take advantage and score.
De Beer converted before Feinberg-Mngomezulu was short with a penalty from inside his own half to leave Stormers with a 17-14 interval lead.
Ten minutes after the restart, some skilful passing created a second for Nel but Cardiff’s response was immediate when Grady powered over from a pre-planned move following a close-range line-out.
De Beer converted before adding a penalty to bring the scores level with 17 minutes remaining with Ben Thomas missing the chance to land the knock-out blow by firing wide with a 45-metre penalty after Connor Evans had been sin-binned for a high challenge on Josh Turnbull.
It mattered little as error-ridden Stormers presented their hosts with one final opportunity with Litterick’s try being awarded after a number of TMO replays.
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