URC – DHL Stormers Beat Edinburgh In Try Fest


Suleiman Hartzenberg scored a hat-trick of tries as the DHL Stormers returned to winning ways in the United Rugby Championship by beating Edinburgh 43-21 in Cape Town.

Edinburgh's hopes of cutting the gap on fourth-placed Munster were dashed by a Stormers team that produced some thrilling rugby.

Leolin Zas and Evan Roos touched down twice, with Manie Libbok kicking three conversions and Jurie Matthee one, as the DHL Stormers secured a bonus point before half-time.

Edinburgh posted tries by wing Jake Henry, number eight Bill Mata and replacement hooker Paddy Harrison, all converted by Ben Healy.

The DHL Stormers made a flying start and went ahead after 10 minutes when they attacked from deep, showcasing some brilliant handling, before Libbok's kick into space was gathered by Hartzenberg and he crossed unopposed.

Libbok added the conversion but Edinburgh were unfazed and they hit back through Henry, who gathered a loose ball 20 metres out and sprinted clear for a try which Healy converted.

Both teams had made their attacking intentions clear and the DHL Stormers struck again when scrum-half Paul de Wet fired out a long pass to full-back Damien Willemse, who perfectly timed a scoring delivery to Hartzenberg.

Libbok's touchline conversion went over via the post and crossbar and he turned creator again just before half-time when another clever tactical kick caused chaos in Edinburgh's defence.

The visitors could not deal with it, fumbling possession, and Zas enjoyed a simple run-in as the DHL Stormers extended their lead to 12 points just before the break.

There was still time for Edinburgh to put themselves back in contention, with Mata charging over from the back of a lineout.

Healy's conversion made it 19-14 but more scintillating handling by the DHL Stormers created a bonus-point try for Zas that Matthee converted as he took over kicking duties while Libbok received treatment for a head wound.

Edinburgh's woes continued early in the second period as Hartzenberg finished off another fine handling move to complete his hat-trick, then Roos went over and it was damage limitation for the visitors.

Harrison's score briefly gave them hope of a possible losing bonus point but that was extinguished by Roos completing his try double.

DHL Stormers: Try: Suleiman Hartzenberg (3), Leolin Zas (2), Evan Roos (2). Conversion: Manie Libbok (2), Jurie Matthee.
Edinburgh: Tries: Jake Henry, Viliame Mata, Jake Henry. Conversions: Ben Healy (3)


DHL Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Suleiman Hartzenberg, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Ben-Jason Dixon, 6 Nama Xaba, 5 Ruben van Heerden, 4 Salmaan Moerat (c), 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Andre-Hugo Venter, 1 Brok Harris. Replacements: 16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Connor Evans, 20 Hacjivah Dayimani, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Jurie Matthee, 23 Ben Loader.

Edinburgh: 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Matt Currie, 11 Jake Henry, 10 Ben Healy, 9 Ben Vellacott (c), 8 Viliame Mata, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Ben Muncaster, 5 Sam Skinner, 4 Jamie Hodgson, 3 WP Nel, 2 Dave Cherry, 1 Boan Venter. Replacements: 16 Patrick Harrison, 17 Luan de Bruin, 18 Javan Sebastian, 19 Marshall Sykes, 20 Tom Dodd, 21 Charlie Shiel, 22 Cammy Scott, 23 Chris Dean.