Hacjivah Dayimani is growing in stature every time he plays for the DHL Stormers and wants to keep expressing himself on the pitch.
Blessed with pace and fast feet for a loose forward, Dayimani has made a big impression for the DHL Stormers in recent weeks, memorably scoring and assisting in the Heineken Champions Cup win against London Irish last week.
Dayimani will be prowling for the perfect conditions to step a defender and tear away for a try when the DHL Stormers lock horns with the Vodacom Bulls in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship on Friday.
Dayimani crossed the whitewash when the DHL Stormers beat their bitter foes in Round 13 of the inaugural Vodacom URC, before winning the title with victory over the old enemy in the final at DHL Stadium.
“It’s always a big game, and a great one to measure yourself,” he said. “Every game I’m growing, so the most important thing is to continue trying to get my best game, and especially against the Vodacom Bulls.”
Known for his try-scoring breaks and speed, the 25-year-old has continued to complement athleticism with physicality while revelling as a senior member in a young and exciting squad.
His creativity, pace and support play in the wide channels thrilled The Faithful as the DHL Stormers opened their account in the Heineken Champions Cup with a stylish bonus-point victory at home over London Irish, during which he scored his third try of the 2022/23 campaign after an electrifying run.
“Sometimes the type of rugby being played doesn’t allow me to get into my game, either by the way the opposition is playing or the weather,” Dayimani said.
“For my type of game it’s always been about running, and in the past when it got rainy I struggled.
“I still try to beat my man when it’s wet but I’ve also adapted, doing more work off the ball, on defence and in contesting in the lineouts.
“I’m just trying to express myself more on the field while trying to find work and do what I need to do.”
The dynamic forward has also embraced the challenge of cross-hemisphere conditions that comes with campaigning in Europe and the Republic simultaneously.
His versatility has been invaluable to the DHL Stormers, the athletic loosie even plugging holes in the second row without diminishing his appetite to run and tackle as head coach John Dobson adjusts campaign plans around injuries and the requirements of the national team.
Dayimani said: “Playing overseas was an eye-opener, especially with the weather, and against Clermont it was very cold and the crowd was hostile – we’re not used to crowds booing us for 80 minutes!
“With Deon Fourie being managed and Evan Roos absent, I try to make sure that everything operates smoothly as much as possible. A leader is not someone who just talks but who gives energy in the way he plays and makes the team want to follow him.
“Giving the team front-foot ball is the best form of leadership you can bring,” he added.
The two teams have differed in their approach to selection ahead of the game on Friday, but Dayimani knows that it will be about which team can put together on 80-minute performance on the day.
“I think the plans for the Vodacom Bulls and plans for us are completely different. We just want to get as much rugby together as possible,” he said.
“There has been a lot of hype but I just know that when Friday comes, it doesn’t matter who’s rested or not, we’re going to bring our A-game.”