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Stormers hold off Premiership top dogs in exhibition face-off

MATCH REPORT: The Stormers, minus their World Cup superstars, held on for a credible 45-29 win over Premiership leaders Northampton Saints in an exhibition match at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday.

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With no limit on replacements – both teams had extended benches of 15 and 12 players respectively – it was hardly a surprise that the encounter produced 12 tries, seven by the Stormers.

The home side scored first as wing Will Glister picked up a loose ball to race away.

However, the Stormers hit back soon as centre Wandisile Simelane got on the end of an attacking kick to go over.

The Stormers did not take long to hit the lead when No.8 Keke Morabe scored an incredible individual try, picking the ball up at a ruck, stepping a defender and racing away to score.

There was more clever attacking kicking which resulted in the third try, with flank Junior Pokomela finishing off a good team effort.

Glister got the second for the home side after a good run from former Stormer Juarno Augustus, but the visitors would go over for their fourth try when scrumhalf Stefan Ungerer showed great awareness to take a quick tap after an attacking scrum to score between the poles.

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Northampton had the final say in an entertaining first half, with South African centre Burger Odendaal scoring to make it 26-19 at half-time and seven tries in the first 40 minutes.

The Stormers dominated territory and possession in the first 20 minutes of the second half without scoring.

Instead it would be Northampton to score first after half-time when replacement Jake Garside raced away to score in the corner and bring them within two points.

The Stormers would pull away in the final stages as Connor Evans, Hacjivah Dayimani and Pokomela all added tries to help secure what was a comfortable win in the end.

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Evan took a pass from scrumhalf Godlen Masimla, who had made a great read to intercept in Northampton’s half, and the big lock galloped away to score in the corner.

Dayimani was on the wing and he got on the end of a kick ahead from Masimla to score and then whipped off his jersey to reveal a Northampton Saints jersey underneath, to the delight of the crowd.

Pokomela finished off a good team effort at the death to put the full stop on what was a fluid attacking display from the Stormers.

The scorers

For Northampton Saints
Tries: Glister 2, Odendaal, Garside, Graham
Cons: Savala 2

For the Stormers
Tries: Simelane, Morabe, Pokomela 2, Ungerer, Evans, Dayimani
Cons: Matthee 5

Teams

Northampton Saints: 15 Jake Garside, 14 Will Glister, 13 Tom Litchfield, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Ollie Sleightholme, 10 Charlie Savala, 9 Callum Braley, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Lewis Ludlam (captain), 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Chunya Munga, 4 Tom Lockett, 3 Trevor Davison, 2 Sam Matavesi, 1 Emmanuel Iyogun.
Replacements – from: Robbie Smith, Tom Cruse, Alex Waller, Ethan Waller, Paul Hill, Temo Mayanavanua, Alex Moon, Geordie Irvine, Kayde Sylvester, Sam Graham, Tom James, Rory Hutchinson, Tom Seabrook, Ewan Baker, Alfie Garside.

Stormers: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Chris Hollis, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Ben Loader, 10 Jurie Matthee, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Keke Morabe, 7 Junior Pokomela, 6 Willie Engelbrecht, 5 Connor Evans, 4 Gary Porter, 3 Sazi Sandi, 2 JJ Kotze, 1 Brok Harris (captain).
Replacements – for: Chad Solomon, Leon Lyons, Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, Scarra Ntubeni, Ben-Jason Dixon, Nama Xaba, Marcel Theunissen, Godlen Masimla, Hacjivah Dayimani, Damian Markus, Suleiman Hartzenberg.

Referee: George Selwood
Assistant referees: Greg Macdonald, Peter Allan

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