Stormers hold Edinburgh to a draw
MATCH REPORT: The Stormers avoided a third United Rugby Championship (URC) defeat with a hard-fought 20-all draw against Edinburgh in Scotland.
*To recap all the action CLICK HERE!
With Edinburgh enjoying the home advantage and two quick tries in the opening five minutes of the match, many predicted a runaway victory for the Scotts.
The hosts made a blistering start as they raced into a 14-0 lead after just six minutes, with Jaco van der Walt instrumental.
However, the Stormers refused to capitulate and fought back strongly to ensure the match was tied at 20-20 by half-time.
Remarkably, after such an action-packed first half, there were no points for either side after the break as they had to settle for two points apiece.
Mike Blair’s side got off to the perfect start with a superbly worked try in the third minute when Darcy Graham touched down left of the posts after being set up by Van der Walt, who then did the honours with the conversion.
Van der Walt was in the thick of it again in the sixth minute as he laid it on a plate for Ben Vellacott to race between the posts. Van der Walt made no mistake in converting once more as Edinburgh opened up a quick-fire 14-0 lead.
The Stormers could easily have wilted amid the hosts’ whirlwind start, but they got themselves right back in the game in the eighth minute when Warrick Gelant forced his way over the line after collecting an offload from Scarra Ntubeni.
Tim Swiel added the conversion.
The visiting number 10 then pinged a penalty between the posts to reduce the deficit to 14-10 in the 14th minute.
Van der Walt restored Edinburgh’s seven-point lead with a penalty in the 27th minute.
But the spirited Stormers levelled the match six minutes later when Paul de Wet crossed the line after being set up by good work from Evan Roos before Swiel converted.
Van der Walt and Swiel then exchanged penalties in the closing five minutes of a thrilling first half as the two sides went in all square at the break.
After the interval, the two teams were unable to maintain the breathtaking pace of the first half and ultimately cancelled each other out.
Player of the match
Van der Walt maintained his impressive start to the season and was heavily involved in all of Edinburgh’s points. The flyhalf played in Graham for the first try of the night, then did likewise for Vellacott to score the second, while also kicking two conversions and two penalties.
Play of the match
Edinburgh cut their visitors open in impressive fashion in the early stages and their second try was particularly impressive. Van der Walt was at the heart of the move and his perfectly executed lay-off allowed the on-form Vellacott to cruise in between the posts.
Tries: Graham, Vellacott
Cons: Van der Walt 2
Pens: Van der Walt 2
Tries: Gelant, De Wet
Cons: Swiel 2
Pens: Swiel 2
Edinburgh: 15 Henry Immelman, 14 Darcy Graham, 13 James Lang, 12 Cammy Hutchison, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Ben Vellacott, 8 Viliame Mata, 7 Luke Crosbie, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 5 Grant Gilchrist (captain), 4 Marshall Sykes, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Dave Cherry, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Adam McBurney, 17 Boan Venter, 18 WP Nel, 19 Jamie Hodgson, 20 Magnus Bradbury, 21 Charlie Shiel, 22 James Johnstone, 23 Damien Hoyland.
Stormers: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Willie Engelbrecht, 6 Nama Xaba, 5 Salmaan Moerat, 4 Ernst van Rhyn, 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Brok Harris.
Replacements: 16 JJ Kotze, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Sazi Sandi, 19 Justin Basson, 20 Marcel Theunissen, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Dan du Plessis.
Referee: Andrea Piardi (Italy)
Assistant referees: Ian Kenny (Scotland), Graeme Ormiston (Scotland)
TMO: Stefano Roscini (Italy)