Stormers bow out to fired-up Warriors

The Bulls are the only South African team left standing in the URC

08 June 2024 - 23:00
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Hacjivah Dayimani in action against the Warriors in 2022. File photo.
Hacjivah Dayimani in action against the Warriors in 2022. File photo.
Image: Ashley Vlotman (Gallo Images)

The Stormers were knocked out of the United Rugby Championship (URC) by a spurred-on Glasgow Warriors in their quarterfinal in Scotland on Saturday night.

In a tight, tense match contested with fervour, it was the home side who prevailed 27-10 thanks to relentless energy and keeping their nerve when it mattered.

The scoreline perhaps flattered the hosts, but they did finish the match with a spring in their step.

The Stormers, though full of fight, did not land enough punches and blinked at inopportune moments. The visitors played well enough to go toe-to-toe with the hosts, but poor goal-kicking and tactical misadventure meant they were always chasing the game.

Glasgow, hunting marginally better as a collective, stole the march on the visitors and never looked like backing off. Josh McKay, Sione Tuipulotu, George Horn, Jack Dempsey and replacement Henco Venter were all superb for the Warriors.

Though the Stormers were combative at the breakdown, they were penalised more than the hosts at the scrum.

At the back, their halfbacks Herschel Jantjies and Manie Libbok operated under huge pressure.

Hacjivah Dayimani was dynamic at the start and Ben-Jason Dixon was uncompromising in the tackle, while Ruben van Heerden continues to grow in stature. Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu occasionally sprinkled his stardust.

The Warriors played with the benefit of a stiff breeze in the first half and though they only had two penalties to show for efforts at the break, the Stormers failed to play to their strengths in the opening period.

They used the boot more than they should have when the rumble of their forwards would have served them better.

Having not made any inroads early in the second half, the Stormers — especially after the introduction of replacement hooker Andre-Hugo Venter — went more direct. They eked out valuable metres, but just as they started to apply the squeeze, captain Salmaan Moerat was yellow-carded for head-on-head contact at the ruck.

The game then sprang to life. Undeterred, the Stormers continued their momentum and after Libbok and Feinberg-Mngomezulu handled deftly, left-wing Ben Loader dotted down.

The Warriors' riposte was instant as they secured the kick-in and scored through right-wing Sebastien Cancelliere, but the Stormers hit back with a try from replacement scrumhalf Paul de Wet.

Again Libbok failed to trouble the flag bearers. It wasn't his first miss. His miss in the 18th minute perhaps set the tone of the game as the Warriors came charging out with the restart.

Warriors captain Kyle Steyn refused to be put down before their forwards used the pick-and-go method to earn their side a penalty.

The Stormers earned their second kickable penalty soon after from a move that could have earned Steyn a yellow card. He didn't and the double whammy was complete when Libbok again missed off the tee.

Though the Stormers did well to drag themselves back into the contest, they were always a step and a few points behind. It was the hosts who turned the screws in the closing minutes to earn the right to head to Thomond Park in Limerick next week to confront defending champions Munster.

Munster knocked the Warriors out at home at the quarterfinal stage last year and next week Franco Smith's team will have the opportunity to atone.

In the other semifinal, the Bulls will host Leinster.


Warriors (6) 27 — Tries: Sebastian Cancellieri, Henco Venter, Ross Thompson. Conversion: George Horn 3. Penalties: Horn (2).

Stormers (0) 10 — Tries: Ben Loader, Paul de Wet.

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