DHL Stormers claim North-South spoils

PUBLISHED: December 23, 2023

The DHL Stormers claimed a hard-fought 26-20 win against the Vodacom Bulls in a Vodacom United Rugby Championship North-South clash at DHL Stadium on Saturday.

Despite having three tries disallowed, the DHL Stormers scored two to earn a win in front of a crowd of 39 925 at DHL Stadium.

The home side made a strong start, with Manie Libbok kicking an early penalty before Damian Willemse slotted a drop-goal to make it 6-0.

The pretoria side got on the scoreboard with a maul try from lock Reinhardt Ludwig and they were in the lead when the ball bounced up for Kurt-Lee Arendse to score.

The DHL Stormers regrouped and a second Libbok penalty put them within a point before they took the lead back with a try from inside centre Jean-Luc du Plessis.

Captain Deon Fourie made the initial break and found scrumhalf Paul de Wet in support before Du Plessis went over for a try in his 50th DHL Stormers appearance.

The DHL Stormers had their tails up and with Vodacom Bulls prop Gerhard Steenekamp shown a yellow card for a high tackle, they heaped the pressure on.

Both Fourie and wing Suleiman Hartzenberg had tries disallowed, but they were not able to add any more points and went into half-time with a 16-10 lead.

The DHL Stormers were first to score in the second half through a Libbok penalty, but the Vodacom Bulls responded with a try to Canan Moodie which brought them right back into it.

Damian Willemse looked to have scored a spectacular try in the corner, but the TMO ruled that he lost control of the ball while grounding it.

However, there was no disallowing Ruhan Nel’s try soon afterwards which gave the home side a nine-point buffer once more.

The Vodacom Bulls kicked a late penalty, to bring themselves back within range, but the DHL Stormers defence held out well to secure the win.

The scorers:

For DHL Stormers:
Du Plessis, Nel
Cons: Libbok 2
Pens: Libbok 3
DG: Willemse

For Vodacom Bulls:
Ludwig, Arendse, Moodie
Con: Goosen
Pen: Smith

DHL Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Suleiman Hartzenberg, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Ben-Jason Dixon, 6 Deon Fourie (captain), 5 Ruben van Heerden, 4 Adre Smith, 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Sti Sithole.
Replacements: 16 Andre-Hugo Venter, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Brok Harris, 19 Connor Evans, 20 Willie Engelbrecht, 21 Keke Morabe, 22 Stefan Ungerer, 23 Clayton Blommetjies.