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Stormers prevail as Edinburgh let lead slip in Cape Town

By PA
Suleiman Hartzenberg of the Stormers celebrate after scoring a try during the United Rugby Championship match between DHL Stormers and Edinburgh at DHL Stadium on October 01, 2022 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Edinburgh failed to make the most of their early dominance as they slipped to a 34-18 defeat to United Rugby Championship title holders the Stormers in Cape Town.

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Mike Blair’s men were in control for most of the first half, with Pierre Schoeman’s try helping to open up a 10-0 lead.

However, Deon Fourie and Joseph Dweba touched down during a spell in the sin bin for Stuart McInally that straddled the half-time break.

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Suleiman Hartzenberg’s 67th-minute score gave the hosts further control and, though Dave Cherry went over after Sazi Sandi was red-carded late on, Hartzenberg crossed for the bonus-point try at the death.

Manie Libbok kicked 14 points for the Stormers while Blair Kinghorn booted eight for Edinburgh.

Kinghorn kicked Edinburgh’s first points in the sixth minute as the visitors put pressure on the Stormers.

The hosts were prone to ill-discipline in their own 22 throughout the first half and their repeated infringements caught up with them when Libbok was sent to the sin bin.

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Edinburgh had been well on top against 15 men and eventually chalked up the game’s opening try after 29 minutes when, following a period of scrum after scrum on the Stormers’ five-metre line, Schoeman burrowed over from close range, with Kinghorn adding the extras.

Libbok returned to the field with the Stormers finally enjoying some possession outside their own half and Edinburgh were soon down to 14 themselves when McInally was penalised for not rolling away after hauling down Angelo Davids just short of the line.

The hosts pulled back to 10-7 before half-time after Fourie emerged from a rolling maul to touch down and Libbok split the posts.

Debutant Dweba added a second in similar circumstances after the break, with Libbok making it 14-10 before stretching the lead further with a penalty.

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The Stormers lost Evan Roos to the bin for using excessive force in a tussle with Nick Haining, and Kinghorn reduced the deficit by three from the resulting penalty, but it was back to seven shortly after the hour mark thanks to another Libbok effort.

Hartzenberg then intercepted and ran from deep inside his own half to touch down, leaving Libbok with a straightforward conversion, before Sandi saw red for a head-on-head contact with Jamie Ritchie five minutes from time.

Cherry responded with an unconverted try but Hartzenberg had the final say by clinching the try bonus, with Libbok completing the scoring.

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