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Stormers blow Leinster away

URC REPORT: The Stormers returned to winning ways in the United Rugby Championship with a 42-12 win against an understrength Leinster side in Round 15 on Saturday.

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John Dobson’s side scored five tries on their way to victory with Manie Libbok contributing 17 points with the boot.

The bonus-point win will see the Stormers end the round in fifth position in the standings and six points behind the fourth-placed Bulls.

Leinster have dropped to second position in the standings after their second consecutive defeat in South Africa.

Glasgow’s bonus-point win over Zebre Parma earlier in the day sees the Scottish side hold a four-point advantage at the summit with just three rounds to go.

After an error-strewn opening four minutes, it was the Stormers who were we first to take advantage when a loose pass from Cormac Foley was seized upon by Ben Loader, who sprinted half the length of the field to touch down under the posts and Libbok sent over the simple conversion.

Libbok then extended the lead to 10-0 midway through the first half after Leinster were penalised for being offside at the ruck and another penalty 10 minutes before the interval stretched their advantage further.

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Libbok added a third penalty before the Stormers’ dominance told as they scored their second try of the match with the clock in the red as Salmaan Moerat burrowed his way over from a penalty advantage and Libbok’s conversion made it 23-0 at the break.

The Stormers picked up from where they left off immediately after the restart. Jantjies picked the ball up from a ruck and darted between some lacklustre Leinster cover tackling to run unopposed to the tryline.

But Leinster would not lie down and battled their way back into the game as Max Deegan powered his way over from close range following a penalty five metres out, before turning provider when he broke clear down the left and played an inside pass for Rob Russell to slide over.

Stormers secured the bonus point when replacement Willie Engelbrecht burst through a weak tackle attempt from Henry McErlean to touch down and Warrick Gelant put the icing on the cake with a superb individual try.

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Man of the match: Prop Neethling Fouche was in the thick of the action as the Stormers won the battle up front to provide the base for the dynamic backs to take advantage.

The scorers:

For Stormers:
Tries: Loader, Moerat, Jantjies, Engelbrecht, Gelant
Cons: Libbok 4
Pens: Libbok 3

For Leinster:
Tries: Deegan, Russell
Con: Prendergast

Yellow card: Evan Roos (Stormers, 59′ – cynical play, playing the ball on the ground)

Teams:

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

Leinster: 15 Henry McErlean, 14 Liam Turner, 13 Ben Brownlee, 12 Charlie Ngatai, 11 Rob Russell, 10 Sam Prendergast, 9 Cormac Foley, 8 Max Deegan, 7 Scott Penny (captain), 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Jason Jenkins, 4 Brian Deeny, 3 Michael Ala’alatoa, 2 John McKee, 1 Michael Milne.
Replacements: 16 Gus McCarthy, 17 Ed Byrne, 18 Thomas Clarkson, 19 Conor O’Tighearnaigh, 20 Diarmuid Mangan, 21 Fintan Gunne, 22 Charlie Tector, 23 Martin Moloney.

Referee: Andrea Piardi (Italy)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Christopher Allison (South Africa)
TMO: Gianluca Gnecchi (Italy)

Additional reporting:@URCOfficial

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