DHL Stormers flashback: Scot free

PUBLISHED: March 21, 2024

In Round Three of the 2022/23 season, the DHL Stormers convincingly beat Edinburgh at DHL Stadium with a performance that underlined their credentials as the Vodacom United Rugby Championship reigning champions and SA Shield title-holders.

Featuring new recruits Joseph Dweba at hooker and a 19-year-old Suleiman Hartzenberg on the wing, the DHL Stormers displayed resilience and flair in a 34-18 victory against the touring Scots.

Edinburgh initially dominated possession and established a 10-0 lead, but the DHL Stormers’ renowned defence and an outstanding effort from the pack thwarted the Scottish visitors’ efforts. The hosts closed the first half with a converted maul try by Deon Fourie, narrowing the gap to 10-7.

The second half saw a momentum shift, with the DHL Stormers capitalising on Edinburgh hooker Stuart McInally’s yellow card by attacking with renewed vigour. Dweba marked his debut with a try off a driving maul, propelling the Capetonians to a 17-10 advantage.

With the dynamic Evan Roos temporarily consigned to the sin-bin, the DHL Stormers retained composure and Manie Libbok’s accurate kicking widened the gap, before Hartzenberg’s last-minute touchdown had the blue and white-clad supporters in the stands on their feet.

Hartzenberg, who had earlier scored an intercept try that effectively ended the Edinburgh challenge, was the man to cross in the right corner off the last move of the game to clinch the bonus point that left the DHL Stormers with a back-to-back full house of points after trouncing Connacht in Stellenbosch a week earlier.

The DHL Stormers, after 12 wins from 18 round-robin matches including eight home victories, hosted three playoff clashes for a successive season in 2022/23, culminating in the Grand Final at the DHL Stadium, and the Edinburgh win showcased the powerful addition of Dweba in the front row as well as the prodigious Hartzenberg, who finished his maiden Vodacom URC campaign with five tries from 14 matches.