Champions Cup – Libbok Secure DHL Stormers Victory Over Stade Francais Paris


A late effort from Manie Libbok secured DHL Stormers home advantage in the knockout stage as his side beat Stade Francais Paris 24-20 in a chaotic Investec Champions Cup encounter.

Stade Francais Paris went into the match bottom of Pool 4, but they knew it was still possible to qualify for the Round of 16 if they won and results elsewhere went their way.

And even though they went into the match second in the pool, DHL Stormers knew they needed a minimum of two points to secure their spot in the Round of 16, and that only a bonus-point win would do to get home advantage.

The lead changed hands multiple times in the first half. Teenager Andy Timo was nimble and swift as he made a mazy run through the DHL Stormers defence to score the evening's first try within the first minute.

Scrum-half Herschel Jantjies levelled up in the tenth minute after a maul before a Joris Segonds penalty put the hosts in front again.

Then DHL Stormers took the lead for the first time on the quarter hour with another big maul resulting in a try from Ruben van Heerden.

But Stade Francais Paris wrestled it back thanks to centre Lester Etien plus a conversion from Segonds.

And flanker Mathieu Hirigoyen extended the lead at the start of the second half, making up for Rory Kockott's missed drop goal a few minutes earlier.

Smart use of replacements gave DHL Stormers an impetus, lock Hendre Stassen heaving the ball over on the hour.

There was a great deal of confusion in the closing stages as the officials and the teams struggled to establish the right numbers on each side ahead of an uncontested scrum, with referee Luke Pearce ultimately awarding a penalty to DHL Stormers because Stade Francais Paris had too many players on the pitch.

And it ultimately turned the tide of the match as Manie Libbok put his side in front, converting his own try to seal victory.

Stade Francais Paris: Tries: Andy Timo, Lester Etien, Mathieu Hirigoyen. Conversion: Joris Segonds. Penalty: Joris Segonds.
DHL Stormers: Tries: Herschel Jantjies, Ruben van Heerden, Hendre Stassen, Manie Libbok. Conversions: Manie Libbok (2).


Stade Francais Paris: 15 Leo Monin, 14 Peniasi Dakuwaqa, 13 Stephane Ahmed, 12 Lester Etien, 11 Mathis Ibo, 10 Joris Segonds, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Giovanni Habel-Kuffner, 7 Andy Timo, 6 Mathieu Hirigoyen, 5 Pierre-Henri Azagoh, 4 Paul Gabrillagues (c), 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Lucas Peyresblanques, 1 Clement Castets. Replacements: 16 Mickael Ivaldi, 17 Vasil Kakovin, 18 Hugo N’Diaye, 19 Romain Briatte, 20 Sekou Macalou, 21 Jules Gimbert, 22 Tanginoa Halaifonua, 23 Leo Barre.

DHL Stormers: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Angelo Davids, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Damian Willemse, 11 Ben Loader, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Keke Morabe, 7 Willie Engelbrecht, 6 Deon Fourie (c), 5 Ruben van Heerden, 4 Adre Smith, 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Sti Sithole. Replacements: 16 Andre-Hugo Venter, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Brok Harris, 19 Hendré Stassen, 20 Ben-Jason Dixon, 21 Hacjivah Dayimani, 22 Stefan Ungerer, 23 Suleiman Hartzenberg.