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Brace for Zas as Stormers edge Sale

MATCH REPORT: A brace by Leolin Zas and some magic by Man of the Match Hacjivah Dayimani helped the Stormers to a valuable 31-24 win over the Sale Sharks in the Champions Cup in Cape Town on Saturday.

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It was an enthralling match from the start as early tries from Dayimani and Suleiman Harzenberg put the hosts in front.

But Jonny Hill got one back for Sale Sharks, before Zas restored the two-try advantage with a deft display of pace.

The opening minutes saw Dayimani run the perfect line to score his try of the match after a flat quick pass by Manie Libbok created the opportunity.

It wasn’t always the most attractive game, as it was riddled with errors from both sides early on.

But the Stormers kept their cool, unlike Sale flyhalf Robert du Preez, who kicked into a storming Suleiman Hartzenberg who just had to gather and dot down. Libbok converted and the home-side stretched their lead to 14-0.

Sale responded minutes later through Bedlow’s try.

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An electrifying break by Dayimani from a line-out in the Stormer’s 22, showing clean heels and all but caught the entire Sale team off-guard, but unfortunately his pass went into the hands of the opposition.

A minute later another deft touch by Libbok sent Leolin Zas to score the Stormer’s third try. Libbok converted and the home-side was leading 19-7 after half an hour of play.

Just before the stroke of half-time, Sale got their second try through the strong low drive of hooker Agustin Creevy. Du Preez converted, narrowing the gap to 14-21.

Looking at the first half, the Stormers were dominant as they had plenty of entry into the 22, but could not convert it into enough opportunities.

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The start of the second half saw the Sale Sharks working hard at the breakdown, resulting in Du Preez having a kickable penalty, but it went awry.

The Stormer’s bonus point try came when Zas made a perfect break and passed to that man Dayimani on the left wing, the ball went back to Zas who scored his second on the night.

A late try by Bedlow’s grabbed Sale a losing bonus point.

The Stormers were leading 31-24 with seven minutes of play left.

A rare missed penalty kick by Libbok at the death almost denied Sale their hard earned point.

Man of the Match: Hacjivah Dayimani for the magic he created, often in the position of wing. He popped up everywhere and also scored a magnificent try in the process.

Scorers:

For the Stormers:
Tries: Dayimani, Hartzenberg, Zas 2
Cons: Libbok 4
Pen: Libbok

For the Sale Sharks:
Tries: Hill, Creevy, Bedlow
Cons: Du Preez 3
Pen: Du Preez

Teams:

Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Suleiman Hartzenberg, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Ben-Jason Dixon, 6 Deon Fourie (captain), 5 Ruben van Heerden, 4 Adre Smith, 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Andre-Hugo Venter, 1 Sti Sithole.
Replacements: 16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Brok Harris, 19 Connor Evans, 20 Marcel Theunissen, 21 Nama Xaba, 22 Paul de Wet, 23 Warrick Gelant.

Sale Sharks: 15 Telusa Veainu, 14 Arron Reed, 13 Sam James, 12 Sam Bedlow, 11 Alex Wills, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Gus Warr, 8 Josh Beaumont, 7 Ben Curry (captain), 6 Sam Dugdale, 5 Ben Bamber, 4 Jonny Hill, 3 James Harper, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Tumy Onasanya, 18 Asher Opoku-Fordjour, 19 Rouban Birch, 20 Tommy Taylor, 21 Nye Thomas, 22 Tom Curtis, 23 Rekeiti Ma’asi-White

Referee: Luc Ramos (France)
Assistant referees: Jeremy Rozier (France), Evan Urruzmendi (France)
TMO: Patrick Dellac (France)

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