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Edinburgh held to URC stalemate with Stormers

By PA
Edinburgh's Jamie Ritchis is tackled by Ernst van Rhyn during a United Rugby Championship match between Edinburgh and DHL Stormers (Photo by Bruce White/SNS Group via Getty Images)

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Edinburgh and the Stormers could not be separated as their United Rugby Championship clash ended all square at the DAM Health Stadium.

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The hosts made a blistering start as they raced into a 14-0 lead after just six minutes, with Jaco Van Der Walt instrumental.

However, the Stormers refused to capitulate and fought back strongly to ensure the match was tied at 20-20 by half-time.

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Remarkably, after such an action-packed first half, there were no points for either side after the break as they had to settle for two points apiece.

Mike Blair’s side got off to the perfect start with a superbly worked try in the third minute when Darcy Graham touched down left of the posts after being set up by Van Der Walt, who then did the honours with the conversion.

Van Der Walt was in the thick of it again in the sixth minute as he laid it on a plate for Ben Vellacott to race between the posts. Van Der Walt made no mistake in converting once more as Edinburgh opened up a quick-fire 14-0 lead.

The Stormers could easily have wilted amid the hosts’ whirlwind start, but they got themselves right back in the game in the eighth minute when Warrick Gelant forced his way over the line after collecting an offload from Scarra Ntubeni.

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Tim Swiel added the conversion.

The visiting number 10 then pinged a penalty between the posts to reduce the deficit to 14-10 in the 14th minute.

Van Der Walt restored Edinburgh’s seven-point lead with a penalty in the 27th minute.

But the spirited Stormers levelled the match six minutes later when Paul De Wet crossed the line after being set up by good work from Evan Roos before Swiel converted.

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Van Der Walt and Swiel then exchanged penalties in the closing five minutes of a thrilling first half as the two sides went in all square at the break.

After the interval, the two teams were unable to maintain the breathtaking pace of the first half and ultimately cancelled each other out.

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