DHL Stormers hold off Hollywoodbets Sharks

PUBLISHED: December 30, 2023

The DHL Stormers claimed a hard-fought 16-15 win in their Vodacom United Rugby Championship coastal clash with the Hollywoodbets Sharks at DHL Stadium on Saturday.

There was an incredible atmosphere at DHL Stadium as a crowd of 37 246 turned up to watch the South African derby.

In the end the DHL Stormers did enough to make it two consecutive calendar years unbeaten against South African opposition.

The opening exchanges were intense, with both teams visiting the 22 without reward.

The DHL Stormers eventually found a breakthrough as an attacking movement saw Ben-Jason Dixon find Adre Smith with a sublime offload and the big lock galloped in for the opening try.

The home side kept the pressure on and a big scrum in the 22 gave Manie Libbok the chance to take them into double figures with a penalty from wide on the right.

The visitors hit back just before the break with a try in the corner from Werner Kok, but it was the DHL Stormers who took a 10-5 lead into half-time.

Both teams kicked penalties early in the second half before the Hollywoodbets Sharks took the lead for the first time in the match through a try from lock Corne Rahl.

It did not take long for the DHL Stormers to take the lead back with another Libbok penalty and that was enough in the end to secure the win, although they pressed hard for a late try.

The scorers:

For DHL Stormers:
Con: Libbok
Pens: Libbok 3

For Hollywoodbets Sharks:
Kok, Rahl
Con: Bosch
Pen: Bosch

DHL Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Suleiman Hartzenberg, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan 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 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Sti Sithole.
Replacements: 16 Andre-Hugo Venter, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Brok Harris, 19 Hendre Stassen, 20 Marcel Theunissen, 21 Willie Engelbrecht, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Jurie Matthee.