Polished Dayimani revelling in unshackled Stormers style: 'I play with freedom'

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Hacjivah Dayimani on the charge for the Stormers. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)
Hacjivah Dayimani on the charge for the Stormers. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)
  • Stormers loose-forward Hacjivah Dayimani has enjoyed a new lease on life since moving back home to Cape Town and playing in this Stormers team.
  • Head coach John Dobson has allowed Dayimani to flourish with his effervescent ball-carrying, quick-paced rugby style.
  • Dayimani said while he was wary of Duane Vermeulen's threat, however, their URC semi-final opponents Ulster would also have to watch out for him.

Stormers loose-forward Hacjivah Dayimani has revelled in the silky, shackle-free Stormers game plan that has taken John Dobson's men to the United Rugby Championship semi-finals against Ulster in Cape Town this weekend.

The former Lions back-rower looked to be fading from rugby consciousness at the tail end of his time at the Lions before a loan move to Western Province, which quickly became permanent, revived his career.

Now, the versatile flank routinely terrorises his opponents in the No 7 jersey.

Simnikiwe Xabanisa | He probably won't get a Bok look in, but Dayimani could bring something

Dayimani credited the players he joined up with in Cape Town, the freedom Dobson gave him, and the familiar family surroundings for his resurgence.

"A lot has changed for me personally. Moving back to Cape Town, which is home, has brought me closer to the family," Dayimani said.

"The players I've been playing with, especially, there's a few players that used to help me with my rugby once I came down here like Warrick Gelant, Manie Libbok and Leolin Zas.

"Those guys back me when I'm out wide, and they let me take charge when I have the ball, and I have a coaching staff that backs me and let me do my thing.

"Rather than them telling me not to do something, they tell me to do it, and if there's a mistake, it's OK, we'll fix it.

"I play with freedom. And I'm the type of player that doesn't want to be boxed in. I play what I see and coaches let me do that."

Dayimani, Deon Fourie and Evan Roos will have plenty to think about when Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen and his Ulstermen arrive in Cape Town for the Saturday clash (15:00).

Vermeulen's single-handed match-winning ability will require Dayimani and Fourie to be quick on the draw to avoid being outwitted, outmuscled and out-foxed at the breakdown by the wily No 8.

However, Dayimani said the Stormers would give Duane's comrades plenty to ponder, too.

"Without sounding funny, the same way we have to stop them, they have to stop us," he said.

"They have guys like Duane, who I know very well and I've played against when he was at the Bulls and I was at the Lions. He's a very good player but we back our skill sets.

"My circus act and Evan and Deon's is enough to go against anyone in the competition, especially if you do it right. There are some off but we are obviously striving for the good days.

"How are we going to stop them? We're just going to do what we've been doing every week.

"The good thing about this competition is that I don't know most of the URC players, so when I go up against them, they don't know me and I don't know them.

"It always creates that hype: what are you going to bring out of the box? I'm looking forward to facing the other guys and it's going to be an exciting battle." 

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