Cape Town – The Stormers produced a strong effort in their United Rugby Championship encounter with Edinburgh last night to draw the game 20-all.
It was a much-improved performance by the Stormers from their first two games in the competition.
In their opening game against Benetton Treviso, they looked good early in the second half, only to slump in the last quarter, with the hosts making the step-up to ultimately win the game. Against Munster in Limerick last weekend, a superb start by the South Africans was nullified by a drop in performance after the break, while the Irish giants’ second-half surge saw them coming away with the win.
This week, however, the Stormers played two halves of rugby.
In the build-up to the match, head coach John Dobson said an 80-minute performance would be needed in the Scottish capital, and his team delivered on that as they didn’t drop the intensity.
They looked good throughout, and while they didn’t make use of all their opportunities in the first half, there were still a lot of positives.
They were pleasing on attack as they played with width, and of the finest elements on show was fullback Warrick Gelant. Up front, Evan Roos was characteristically influential, while Brok Harris was superb in the scrums.
The home side struck first when Darcy Graham went over for a converted try (7-0), and it didn’t take them too long to go 14-0 up after scrumhalf Ben Vellacot added their second.
The Stormers retaliated shortly afterwards with a try of their own through Gelant (14-7).
Tim Swiel helped the visitors close in on Edinburgh’s lead with a penalty after the first line-out (14-10) in the 12th minute, and around the half-hour mark, flyhalf Jaco van der Walt stretched Edinburgh’s lead with a penalty kick to take the score to (17-10).
Roos assisted scrumhalf Paul de Wet in the build-up to the Stormers’ second try shortly before half time to take the score to 17-17 in a frantic first 40, and after an intense second half, the teams were deadlocked at 20-20 with both sides only managing three points after the break.
The Stormers next face the Dragons at Rodney Parade on Friday. The match kicks off at 8.35pm SA time.
Edinburgh – 20: Tries Darcy Graham, Ben Vellacot Conversions: Jaco van der Walt (2) Penalties: Van der Walt (2)
Stormers – 20: Tries: Warrick Gelant, Paul de Wet Conversions: Tim Swiel (2) Penalties: Swiel (2)