It was a much tidier effort than last week from the Hurricanes and the referee's whistle seemed virtually absent. Brian Lochore was probably right when he suggested earlier in the week that, all the talk about pedantic refereeing ruining the game, was little more than a smokescreen for the real problem: poor ball-handling and ill-discipline from the players.
The first half, while low scoring, was played at a good pace and the teams seemed evenly matched. The swirling wind at the stadium is giving headaches to all players this year, even David Holwell, who should have got used to it by now, and this also kept the scores low. But it was clear that if either teams got space for their backlines, some good tries would be scored.
Just before halftime, the 'discipline problem' reared its head again and Hurricane halfback Jason Spice was sent off for dangerous rucking. This would have a significant effect on the result of what was proving to be a closely-fought contest. Hard-working loose forward Paul Tito had already left the field injured. Leading 6-3 at halftime, the Stormers were looking extremely dangerous.
Playing with only 14 men, the Hurricanes performed well for three-quarters of the second half. Darryl Lilley, who scored almost all the points for the home team last night, scored a try himself, which he duly converted. Jonah Lomu then scored the try of the season so far, with a blistering run from outside the Stormer's 22 metre line, touching down in the corner in classic fashion.
That was 'it' for the Hurricanes last night though. South African teams have a habit of refusing to give up, even with little time left on the clock. Within minutes, the Hurricanes had given away a comfortable lead and conceded tries to Skinstaad, Paulse and, with a collective groan from the Stadium, Robbie Kempson. But it was a good game of football, the first real quality game of the Super 12, even if it was clear that the Hurricanes are back to their endearingly erratic ways. Watch out for those Japies though, they're mean.