United Rugby Championship: Stormers see off Edinburgh to clinch last semi-final berth

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 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

The Stormers advanced to the United Rugby Championship’s semi-finals after claiming a deserved 28-17 triumph over Edinburgh at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday evening.

Tries from Warrick Gelant, Ruhan Nel and official man of the match Evan Roos got the job done for the home side while Manie Libbok contributed 13 points after succeeding with three penalties and a couple of conversions.

For Edinburgh, David Cherry and Henry Pyrgos crossed the whitewash while Emiliano Boffelli slotted two conversions and a penalty.

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Gelant and Cherry touched down as the sides went in level at 10-10 at half-time, struggling to be separated again following their 20-20 draw at the DAM Health Stadium earlier in the season.

However, Edinburgh had seen Magnus Bradbury sin-binned before the interval and Nel’s score with the visitors still down to 14 men early in the second half was followed 10 minutes later by Roos’ try as the hosts – who ended the regular season second to Leinster – pulled clear.

Pyrgos responded for Edinburgh, but the Stormers defence held firm thereafter as Libbok’s goal-kicking helped keep the visitors at bay.

The result means the Stormers will host Ulster in next weekend’s semi-finals, while Edinburgh follow Scottish rivals Glasgow – thumped at Leinster on Saturday – in exiting the competition.

The Stormers took only two minutes to score the game’s first try, with Gelant pouncing after Hacjivah Dayimani’s offload was fumbled into the end zone by Blair Kinghorn.

Libbok reached 150 points for the season with the conversion and scored a penalty off the left-hand post after Boffelli had got Edinburgh off the mark with a three-pointer at the other end.

The visitors opted against going for goal from their next penalty and were rewarded for their bravery when Cherry touched down from a line-out drive, with Boffelli sending over the conversion from wide on the left flank.

Boffelli executed a vital ankle tap to stop Gelant short of the line on the half-hour mark, but the task of keeping the Stormers out got tougher when Bradbury was yellow-carded for a high contact on Roos.

Edinburgh made it to half-time without sustaining any further damage on the scoreboard, but the Stormers did get over before Bradbury’s return, with Nel taking the inside pass from Seabelo Senatla to touch down.

Libbok made no mistake with the extras in front of the posts and added a penalty to open up a 10-point advantage, although he was off target after Roos picked up a loose ball to touch down and put further daylight between the sides.

Mike Blair’s men would not lie down and Pyrgos scored under the posts after some strong carrying from Luke Crosbie, with Boffelli pulling Edinburgh back within eight.

However, Libbok added a subsequent penalty to move the Stormers 11 clear and complete the scoring.

READ MORE: United Rugby Championship: Leinster thrash hapless Glasgow Warriors to reach semi-finals

The article United Rugby Championship: Stormers see off Edinburgh to clinch last semi-final berth appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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