DHL Stormers flashback: Leyds magic

PUBLISHED: April 11, 2024

An audacious no-look pass from Dillyn Leyds highlighted a 34-26 win for the DHL Stormers against the Chiefs at a packed Newlands Stadium in Round Seven of the 2017 Super Rugby season.

Under the stewardship of Robbie Fleck, the DHL Stormers showcased their trademark flair against one of New Zealand’s finest teams in a thrilling display of attacking rugby.

Despite early pressure from the visitors, the DHL Stormers were determined to breach the Kiwis’ defence and amid passages of brilliance from both teams, it was Leyds who stole the show with his breathtaking offload to SP Marais.

A brace of tries from Toni Pulu and the boot of Aaron Cruden cancelled out early converted scores for Sikhumbuzo Notshe and Siya Kolisi as the Chiefs threatened to take control at 18-14.

But the DHL Stormers showed character to fight back and finish the first half 24-18 ahead after Robert du Preez’s successful reach for the line brought a crowd of 34,700 to its feet.

Marais slotted a penalty after the restart to extend the DHL Stormers’ advantage and clinging to a 27-21 lead, Cheslin Kolbe intercepted a pass and toed the ball upfield. Leyds was quickest to regather but was brought down by an ankle tap. However, he still managed to get the pass off behind his back from the ground for Marais to race for the endzone.

The DHL Stormers denied their opponents any chance of a comeback and the final whistle marked a famous victory for Fleck’s charges against one of the competition’s powerhouses during a title run that ended in a narrow defeat, ironically, to the Chiefs in the quarterfinals.

Leyds featured for Stade Rochelais as the DHL Stormers fell just short against the defending champions in a nail-biting 2023/24 Investec Champions Cup Round of 16 clash at the DHL Stadium, yet his seven-year spell in the Cape is best encapsulated by that moment of magic.