DHL Stormers see off Dragons in Gqeberha

PUBLISHED: December 3, 2022

The DHL Stormers marked their first-ever Vodacom United Rugby Championship match in Gqeberha with a 34-26 win against Dragons RFC.

The defending champions scored four tries in the first half to secure a bonus point win against the Welsh visitors in an entertaining encounter at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

The DHL Stormers made a convincing start to the game and had control with two early maul tries.

Hometown hero Junior Pokomela was first to score and hooker Joseph Dweba came up with the second, with Manie Libbok converting both from wide on the left.

The third try was a sensational team effort as the DHL Stormers came from their own half and it was centre Ruhan Nel who finished it off on his comeback from injury.

The bonus point was wrapped up before half-time as Libbok came up with an incredible individual effort, dancing his way past several defenders to score and convert again.

The Dragons managed an intercept try on the stroke of half-time, but it was the DHL Stormers that took a commanding 28-7 lead into the break.

The visitors scored first in the second half too, with loosehead prop Aki Seiuli going over for a maul try, but the DHL Stormers responded immediately with a penalty from Libbok.

The Dragons were down to 14 soon afterwards when wing Sio Tomkinson was shown yellow after colliding off the ball with Willie Engelbrecht in the 22. Libbok slotted the kick to make it 34-12.

The Welsh team had a third try 10 minutes from the end when flyhalf JJ Hanrahan scored under the poles and would claim a bonus point of their own when replacement prop Josh Reynolds scored, but the DHL Stormers held out for the win in the end.

The scorers:

For DHL Stormers:
Pokomela, Dweba, Nel, Libbok
Cons: Libbok 4
Pens: Libbok 2

For Dragons RFC:
Williams, Seiuli, Hanrahan, Reynolds
Cons: Hanrahan 3

DHL Stormers: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Tristan Leyds, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Willie
Engelbrecht, 6 Junior Pokomela, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Salmaan Moerat (captain), 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Kwenzo Blose.
Replacements: 16 JJ Kotze, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 19 Connor Evans, 20 Deon Fourie, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Kade Wolhuter, 23 Mnombo Zwelendaba.

Dragons RFC: Angus O’Brien, Sio Tomkinson, Steff Hughes, Max Clark, Jordan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Rhodri Williams; Aki Seiuli, Bradley Roberts, Lloyd Fairbrother, Matthew Screech, Sean Lonsdale, Huw Taylor, Aaron Wainwright, Ross Moriarty (c)

Replacements: James Benjamin, Josh Reynolds, Chris Coleman, Harri Keddie, Ben Fry, Lewis Jones, Will Reed, Aneurin Owen