DHL Stormers flashback: On the Manie

PUBLISHED: April 4, 2024

Manie Libbok’s conversion after the final hooter sealed a DHL Stormers win over two-time defending champions Stade Rochelais in the 2023/24 Investec Champions Cup pool clash at DHL Stadium.

The Vodacom United Rugby Championship-winning flyhalf coolly stepped up to the kicking tee and split the uprights from out wide before being swamped by his teammates.

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The DHL Stormers triumphed 21-20, but it wasn’t a one-man show. Hooker Andre-Hugo Venter, thrust into action off the bench, delivered the decisive late try, sparking the home side’s resurgence.

Fellow try-scorer, English outside back Ben Loader and skipper Deon Fourie also played pivotal roles, helping turn the tide against the French visitors.

The clash marked the maiden encounter between the Capetonians and Stade Rochelais, with former DHL Stormers’ winger Dillyn Leyds featuring for the French team, adding an extra layer of intrigue to the contest.

Drawn in the competition’s ‘Pool of Death’, the DHL Stormers had both of the finalists from the past two seasons, Stade Rochelais and Leinster, in their group, as well as English clubs Leicester Tigers and Sale Sharks, plus French outfit Stade Francais.

Libbok’s conversion of Venter’s try capped off a sensational comeback in their first game of the season at DHL Stadium, after the hosts trailed by 11 points early in the second half.

Loader gave the crowd something to shout about with an excellent take and finish from a Damian Willemse crossfield kick.

The DHL Stormers had plenty of opportunities in the second half, and made no mistake with their final roll of the dice, as Venter went over from a massive driving maul, before Libbok held his nerve for the win.

With the stage set for an Investec Champions Cup rematch at DHL Stadium in the Round of 16, the DHL Stormers are hungry for more with their gaze fixed on a second appearance in the quarterfinals.