Stormers make light work of Edinburgh in Cape Town

Suleiman Hartzenberg of the Stormers celebrate with teammates after he scored a try during their United Rugby Championship (URC) match against Edinburgh at DHL Stadium.
Suleiman Hartzenberg of the Stormers celebrate with teammates after he scored a try during their United Rugby Championship (URC) match against Edinburgh at DHL Stadium.
Image: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

So dominant were the Stormers in the fight for possession that their wastefulness mattered little in their 43-21 United Rugby Championship (URC) win over Edinburgh here at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday. 

They overpowered and outgunned the depleted Scottish team with a win that restores them to the top eight frame. 

With a string of four games, the Stormers have the opportunity to march up the points table over the next month. 

The hosts came into the match with plans around their financial future finally formalised. They have an equity partner, an enthusiastic fan base and a vibrant team that is a reflection of what is in the stands. And though they weren't always on the money in the first half, they did string some stirring passages of play.  

In possession they were creative but not always compelling and might have enjoyed a more substantial advantage at the break had it not been for critical moments of imprecision. 

Their first half tries generally came with the scorer coming from far but when more integrated play close to the line was required they fluffed their lines. 

There were moments too when their ball protection let them down and that directly led to Edinburgh's opening score. 

In the second half, imprecise passing further up the pitch, frustratingly for the home crowd, also permeated their game. It was their first game after a three-week break and their first at home for two months, which perhaps partly explains their Gremlins. 

Generally though, they were far too potent for Edinburgh, who were without some of their leading lights. They possessed the set piece and gainline dominance to peg Edinburgh on the back foot. 

Edinburgh prop WP Nel in his 200th for the team spent much of it watching his team fanning out on defence. 

With so much front football, however, the Stormers were going to be hard to contain.  

Fullback Damian Willemse and outside centre Wandisile Simelane avoided Edinburgh's defenders like vegans haggis, Paul de Wet was crisp and intuitive behind the scrum, while Suleiman Hartzenberg, who scored a hat trick of tries, was hard to stop with the tryline beckoning. 

The Stormers got onto the scoreboard first and it was through a thoroughly electrifying effort. 

They swept to the left with Willemse, inside centre Dan du Plessis and No8 Evan Roos playing prominent roles before Manie Libbok, reprising the magic he produced at the Stade Velodrome against Scotland last year, found his right wing with a pinpoint cross kick. 

Scotland wing Duhan van der Merwe who was among Edinburgh's non playing contingent in the Main Stand here must have had flashbacks. 

However, much like Marseille, Libbok's efforts off the tee had the bend of a velodrome. 

A terrible mix-up in midfield brought Edinburgh back when the visitors pounced on a loose ball with the help of some Willemse indecision.  

Winger Jacob Henry sprinted clear after the ball was popped up to him for converted try to level the score. 

The Stormers, however, reclaimed the lead when Hartzenberg, with far less space at his disposal, rounded off after the Stormers used the width of the field in the 17th minute. 

Libbok's conversion hit the left upright then the crossbar before bouncing over.  

He was forced to leave the field with a head wound just before the break. The Stormers, however, took the remaining moments left before the whistle to score another try through left wing Leolin Zas. 

Before that try, despite near complete Stormers' dominance, Edinburgh were still within touching distance.  

Two lapses had cost the hosts, with Viliame Mata, who had a barnstorming first half, also profiting from a soft Stormers moment.  

The hulking Mata, you sense, is rather partial to the opposition's soft moments. 

Edinburgh is much better than what the crowd witnessed here on Saturday.  

Head coach Sean Everitt could not field his internationals in this match, but he may any way feel he has bigger fish to fry next week against his old employers the Sharks. 


Stormers (43) - Tries: Suleiman Hartzenberg (3), Leolin Zas (2), Evan Roos (2). Conversions: Manie Libbok (3), Jurie Mathee. 

Edinburgh (21) - Tries: Jacob Henry, Viliame Mata, Patrick Harrison. Conversions: Ben Healy (3). 


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