Hartzenberg scores twice as ill-disciplined Stormers sweat to bonus-point win past Edinburgh

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Suleiman Hartzenberg. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)
Suleiman Hartzenberg. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

At Cape Town Stadium

United Rugby Championship (URC) champions the Stormers overcame moments of brain fades to beat Edinburgh 34-18 at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.

Playing on the backfoot for much of the first half, the hosts would have been the happier of the two sides as Edinburgh failed to convert their suffocating pressure into a healthy lead, with the scoreboard reading 7-0 up until the 38th minute.

The Stormers set-piece struggled for much of the half and their discipline was not up to standard, bearing the brunt of referee Frank Murphy's whistle. The hosts' ill-discipline culminated in a yellow card for flyhalf Manie Libbok for a deliberate knock.

RECAP | URC: Stormers vs Edinburgh

A man up and close to the Stormers line, Edinburgh kept themselves camped until South African born Pierre Schoeman barged over.

As the break approached, the hosts sniffed an opportunity to draw the scores close and almost did when wing Angelo Davids found decent space after a break by Dan du Plessis.

His effort was short, but the referee and TMO found a cynical infringement from Stuart McInally who also copped a yellow. A resulting maul after the hooter presented flank Deon Fourie with an opportunity to crash over.

Still playing with a man advantage, the Stormers were first to register second half points after hooker Jospeh Dweba announced himself to the Cape Town Stadium from the back of a maul.

After a Libbok penalty to extend their lead, the hosts again found themselves a man down as influential No 8 Evan Roos was binned for 10 minutes for foul play on his opposite number Nick Haining. Edinburgh flyhalf Blair Kinghorn obliged in reducing the deficit to just four.

It was the teenager Suleiman Hartzenberg - who scored a brace on the day - who brought the stadium to its feet after intercepting a free pass from Edinburgh to run the length of the field, giving the hosts a healthy buffer going into the last ten minutes.

Replacement prop Sazi Sandi was shown a straight red in the 74th minute for a dangerous tackle. It proved immaterial as far as the result goes but it did present an opportunity for the visitors to score a try from the resulting penalty.

To get his second, Hartzenberg found a bit of space after the hooter to go over for the hosts' fourth try of the day.

Point scorers:

Stormers - (7) 34

Tries: Deon Fourie, Joseph Dweba, Suleiman Hartzenberg (2)

Conversions: Manie Libbok (4)

Penalties: Manie Libbok (2)

Edinburgh - (10) 18

Tries: Pierre Schoeman, Dave Cherry

Conversions: Blair Kinghorn (2)

Penalties: Blair Kinghorn

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