Stormers vs Sale Sharks 23/24 Report

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31 Stormers
24 Sale Sharks

Sat 13 Jan 5:30pm DHL Stadium Attendance: 0

Stormers vs Sale Sharks

Sale Sharks’ knockout hopes still remain in the balance despite defeat by Stormers in the Investec Champions Cup.

Stormers scored first-half tries through Hacjivah Dayimani and Suleiman Hartzenberg but Sale responded when Jonny Hill raced clear.

Leolin Zas restored the South African side’s buffer, with Agustin Creevy’s try keeping the Sharks in touch.

A second try from Zas gained Stormers the bonus point but Sam Bedlow’s late try grabbed Sale a losing bonus point.

The Sharks, who finished the game with two teenagers on the pitch, remained in touch throughout the game despite the hosts grabbing an extra point.

However, a moment of madness on their own line gifted Bedlow and Sale an all-important point which could be vital in arguably the toughest pool.

Fly-half Manie Libbok missed a penalty at the death to almost deny a much-changed Sale their hard earned point.

Sale’s final pool game is against La Rochelle on 21 January, and they know a win will be required to secure their spot in the last 16.

Before then, Ronan O’Gara’s side are under pressure themselves to produce a result when they host Leicester Tigers on Sunday.

Stormers face Stade Francais, who were defeated by Leinster in Dublin, meaning the South African side have likely qualified for the knockouts.

Much-changed Sale grab important point

Stormers beat defending champions La Rochelle in their last pool game in December, showing that in South Africa they can defeat the best.

Their squad is sprinkled with Springbok internationals, including fly-half Libbok and full-back Damian Willemse, who started last October’s World Cup final victory over New Zealand.

It was Libbok who helped create the first try, splitting open the Sale defence, before number eight Dayimani weaved his way over.

The lead was then doubled when Robert du Preez had his kick charged down by Hartzenberg, who was able to recollect and score. But the South African redeemed himself by putting Hill through a gap to score and keep Sale in the contest.

Sale director of rugby Alex Sanderson made nine changes for the trip to South Africa, potentially with an eye on their final pool game against La Rochelle, a decision vindicated by his players’ performance.

His side continued to frustrate the hosts by slowing down play to prevent them from playing their usual free flowing rugby in the Cape Town humidity.

Despite Sale conceding again, hooker Creevy then squeezed his way over to show that the steely Northerners would continue to stay in the fight at the break.

The sides exchanged second half tries, with Libbok and Du Preez also kicking a penalty each.


Stormers: Willemse; Skosan, Hartzenberg, Du Plessis, Zas; Libbok, Jantjies; Sithole, Venter, Fouche, Smith, Van Heerden, Fourie (capt), Dixon, Dayimani.

Replacements: Dweba, Vermaak, Harris, Evans, Theunissen, Xaba, De Wet, Gelant.

Sale: Veainu; Reed, James, Bedlow, Wills; R Du Preez, Warr; Harrison, Creevy, Harper, Hill, Bamber, Dugdale, B Curry (capt), Beaumont.

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Onasanya, Opoku-Fordjour, Birch, Taylor, Thomas, Curtis, Ma’asi-White.

Referee: Luc Ramos (Fra)

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