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Stormers to host URC Final after dramatic win over Ulster

URC REPORT: The Stormers will host the Bulls in next weekend’s United Rugby Championship Final after they beat Ulster in a dramatic semifinal at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.


With the Stormers down 10-15 after the full-time hooter sounded, Warrick Gelant scored a try before Manie Libbok nailed a difficult conversion for a 17-15 win.

The home side also played the last 10 minutes of the 80 with 14 men after Adre Smith was red-carded for eye-gouging.

The first half was a tight tussle as both teams threw everything at one another, and managed to score twice with JJ Kotse (hooker) and Evan Roos (No.8) crossing the chalk for the hosts, while Ulster wing Robert Baloucoune and fullback Steward Moore touched down for the visitors, while scrumhalf John Cooney slotted over a conversion and penalty goal to hand them a 15-10 half-time lead.

The second half was a gruelling affair with the only points being coming at the death.

The Stormers showed their intent from the outset scoring a maul try by Kotse in the second minute and they added their second try in the 13th minute as Herschel Jantjies (scrumhalf) passed to Roos, who crashed over to hand the team a 10-0 lead.

Ulster hit back strongly with Baloucoune touching down in the right corner shortly before the fourth quarter to open up their scoring and they added their second five-pointer compliments of Moore n the 28th minute and the successful conversion pushed them into the lead for the first time of the match.


Cooney had the last say in the half as he kicked a penalty goal in the dying minutes to hand them a five-point lead going into the break.

Ulster tried hard to stamp their authority in the second half and their efforts got them close to the try line in the 56th minute, but they were shut out as the defence forced them into a crucial error.

The Stormers also threw everything at the opposition as the half progressed, but both teams defended as if their lives depended on it, and with less than 10 minutes left to play as Adre Smith (replacement lock) received a red card for making contact with an opponent’s eye.

Despite this, they continued to show their fighting spirit and got close to the tryline on a few occasions, one of which was a disappointing maul attempt which saw them concede a costly turnover, which could have earned them a valuable win with minutes left to play.


The Capetonians had a last attempt to snatch a win after regulation play as they were awarded a penalty close to the try line, and their attempts paid off as Gelant dashed over in the corner and Libbok sunk the conversion to seal a nail-biting 17-15 victory.

Man of the match: Ulster wing Rob Baloucoune was a constant threat on attack. He scored a try and had a hand in his team’s other before he had to leave the field with an injury. Scrumhalf John C0nney also controlled the game nicely for the visitors with a strong kicking game. However, the award goes to Stormers centre Damian Willemse. He made a remarkable comeback from injury to start the match and he was outstanding with ball in hand. He made some serious metres and kept the Ulster defence on their toes.

The scorers:

For Stormers:
Tries: Kotze, Roos, Gelant
Con: Libbok

For Ulster
Tries: Baloucoune, Moore
Con: Cooney
Pen: Cooney

Red card: Adre Smith (Stormers, 71′ – foul play, eye gouging


Stormers: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Damian Willemse, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Hacjivah Dayimani, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 JJ Kotze, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain).
Replacements: 16 Andre-Hugo Venter, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Adre Smith, 20 Ernst van Rhyn, 21 Nama Xaba, 22 Godlen Masimla, 23 Sacha Mngomezulu.

Ulster: 15 Stewart Moore, 14 Rob Baloucoune, 13 James Hume, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Ethan McIlroy, 10 Billy Burns, 9 John Cooney, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Nick Timoney, 6 Marcus Rea, 5 Iain Henderson (captain), 4 Alan O’Connor, 3 Tom O’Toole, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Andrew Warwick
Replacements: 16 John Andrew, 17 Eric O’Sullivan, 18 Gareth Milasinovich, 19 Kieran Treadwell, 20 Matty Rea, 21 Nathan Doak, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Ben Moxham.

Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Sam Grove-White (Scotland), Adam Jones (Wales)
TMO: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)

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