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Libbok boots Stormers to victory in Galway arm-wrestle

MATCH REPORT: Manie Libbok kicked three penalties as the Stormers edged Connacht 16-12 in a United Rugby Championship arm-wrestle in Galway on Saturday.

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The win booked the Stormers’ place in the play-offs.

Connacht are also clutching at straws in their bid for a top-eight finish.

It was not the most entertaining match in the Galway gale, but the Stormers got the job done through grit and the boot of Libbok – even though Connacht outscored them by two tries to one.

* To recap all the drama, CLICK HERE!

* (Article continues below …)

It was a tough battle against the Irish side, who were desperate to win to keep their play-off hopes alive.

The result means the Stormers remain in fifth position, with just one round of league fixtures left.

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They tackle the Lions in Cape Town on June 1, which will determine the final positions of the top eight heading into the quarterfinals.

The early exchanges in Galway were intense, with both teams getting stuck in and the defences coming out on top.

The Stormers built some pressure through a dominant scrum and camped in the 22 before Manie Libbok opened the scoring with a penalty.

Connacht took their opportunity to score when scrumhalf Caolin Blade scrambled over and despite some more sustained pressure from the Stormers in the final stages of the first half, the home team took a 7-3 advantage into the half-time break.

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The Stormers had the wind at their backs in the second half and it was not long before they took the lead back.

Libbok was put in space by Warrick Gelant and then found a flying Angelo Davids on his inside. The wing had no trouble finishing the try to put them in front.

Connacht responded with a try from replacement prop Jack Aungier, but two more Libbok penalties saw the Stormers secure the win and book their play-off spot.

The scorers

For Connacht
Tries: Blade, Angier
Con: Carty

For the Stormers
Try: Davids
Con: Libbok
Pens: Libbok 3

Teams:

Connacht: 15 Tiernan O’Halloran, 14 John Porch, 13 David Hawkshaw, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Byron Ralston, 10 Jack Carty, 9 Caolin Blade, 8 Sean Jansen, 7 Shamus Hurley-Langton, 6 Cian Prendergast, 5 Darragh Murray, 4 Joe Joyce, 3 Finlay Bealham, 2 Dave Heffernan (captain), 1 Peter Dooley.
Replacements: 16 Dylan Tierney-Martin, 17 Jordan Duggan, 18 Jack Aungier, 19 Oisín Dowling, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 Colm Reilly, 22 Cathal Forde, 23 Santiago Cordero.

Stormers: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Suleiman Hartzenberg, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Damian Willemse, 11 Angelo Davids, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Ben-Jason Dixon, 6 Evan Roos, 5 Ruben van Heerden, 4 Salmaan Moerat (captain), 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Brok Harris.
Replacements: 16 Andre-Hugo Venter, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Adre Smith, 20 Marcel Theunissen, 21 Stefan Ungerer, 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 23 Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu.

Referee: Federico Vedovelli (Italy)
Assistant referees: Chris Busby (Ireland) and Padraic Reidy (Ireland)
TMO: Stefano Penne (Italy)

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