Grant puts boot into Sharks
Stormers fly-half kicks winning penalty in closing stages
Last Updated: 03/03/12 7:59pm
Peter Grant: Was the hero for Stormers
Peter Grant came off the bench to kick the Stormers to a 15-12 Super Rugby victory over the Sharks at Newlands.
The match had seemed destined for a draw as the hosts paid the price for four missed penalty attempts from Joe Pietersen.
But two minutes from time, Grant stepped up from the left-hand touchline to knock over a difficult penalty after Sharks captain Keegan Daniel entered a ruck illegally.
The result moves the Stormers up to fourth in the overall standings, level on points with the Reds and one behind pace setters the Bulls.
Inside centre Jean de Villiers was captaining the home side in the absence of inspirational leader Schalk Burger.
But it was the Sharks who were stronger early on and, after enjoying two thirds of the possession, the visitors were worthy of their 9-6 half-time lead as the Stormers struggled to find any pressure.
The absence of flanker Burger was apparent as the Sharks dominated the physicality stakes in the early stages. Their pressure resulted in the opening points of the game on 12 minutes as Pat Lambie slotted over a penalty before Pietersen replied soon after.
The tight spectacle continued to be a back-and-forth affair as Pietersen scored another penalty before Lambie replied with 20 minutes on the clock.
Lambie was successful with a long-range effort three minutes before the break as he made up for an earlier shot that struck a post.
But the second half brought a switch in momentum as it was now it was the Stormers who dominated both the possession and territory in Cape Town.
Fly-half Grant emerged from the sideline as a replacement for Gary van Aswegen in the 48th minute and that proved to be the catalyst the hosts needed.
Pietersen soon atoned for earlier lapses with a 55th minute penalty when the Stormers' pressure started to take its toll but later on, with the score still at 9-9, he was unsuccessful from the tee.
Grant then took on kicking duties when Sharks lock Ross Skeate was sent in the sin-bin and held his nerve to make it 12-9.
But Pietersen's missed attempts looked to have come back to haunt their side when Lambie levelled the contest in the 74th minute with his fourth penalty.
The Stormers continued to hold the upper hand, however, and their efforts were rewarded when Grant slotted over a penalty in the closing stages.