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SA European Champions Cup Team Of The Week – Round 3

Hacjivah Dayimani dazzled on a winning weekend of European Champions Cup rugby for the South African sides, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.


Hacjivah Dayimani dazzled on a winning weekend of European Champions Cup rugby for the South African sides, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.

Both the Bulls and Stormers took a step towards qualifying for the knockouts on Saturday. Despite being without their current Springboks, the Bulls beat the Bristol Bears 31-17 at Ashton Gate while the Stormers saw off the Sale Sharks 31-24 in Cape Town.

When it came time to select our South African Team of the Week, eight Stormers and seven Bulls ended up cracking the nod.

15: Devon Williams (Bulls)

A very sharp playmaker who left England with the Man of the Match award. Perfectly timed pass to put in Sergeal Petersen for the opening try, another to free up Sebastian de Klerk and created a try-scoring opportunity for Reinhardt Ludwig with a dink ahead.

14: Sebastian de Klerk (Bulls)

Looked for work whereas Courtnall Skosan was content to stay on his wing and saw little action. Good grubber to unleash Petersen from deep.

13: Suleiman Hartzenberg (Stormers)

Strong with ball in hand, made good defensive reads such as the charge down try that proved vital and a beautiful spinning aerial take of the restart.  

12: Dan du Plessis (Stormers)

The muscle of the Stormers backline. That’s not to say he didn’t step a defender or two in his own right because he did, but he mostly powered over the advantage line to give the Capetonians front foot ball. 

11: Leolin Zas (Stormers)

An electrifying strike runner who bagged a brace of tries. Would’ve kicked himself for the brain fart that cost his team a try and brought Sale back into the game.

10: Manie Libbok (Stormers)

Did a lot of good things on attack, including creating the opening try with his fast hands, sending Zas in for his first five-pointer and making two slick line breaks. Excellent line kicks, including finding touch on the 5m line from halfway.

9: Herschel Jantjies (Stormers)

Directed traffic really well. His distribution and decision-making were top-notch and his box kicking well measured.

8: Hacjivah Dayimani (Stormers) – Player of the Week

Delivered a dazzling Man of the Match performance in which his dynamism was on full display. Stepped and twirled his way over for the opening try and nearly scored a second with a brilliant break from his 22. Combined well with Zas to put the winger over for his second try, beat an unheard-of 11 defenders in all and worked hard on defence.

7: Elrigh Louw (Bulls)

Made huge hits and an important turnover in his 22. Pure power and determination to score a try he had no right to to give the Bulls breathing room. Pity his late yellow card took some of the shine off his performance.

6: Marcell Coetzee (Bulls)

A workhorse, especially in the second half, which speaks to his world-class conditioning. Led by example, softened up the first line of defence by dropping the shoulder and storming into contact and cut down ball carriers.

5: Ruben van Heerden (Stormers)

Speaking of work rate, Van Heerden continued his hard grafting as one of the Stormers’ key contributors in the trenches on top of his good lineout work, which included a steal in Sale’s 22 in the 58th minute.

4: Adre Smith (Stormers)

A solid shift by the big second-rower. Good hands and awareness to give the scoring pass to Dayimani and made an important lineout steal in the third quarter.

3: Khutha Mchunu (Bulls)

Picked up where the injured Wilco Louw left off in the scrums (which the Bulls completely dominated), winning two penalties, and scored his first try for the Bulls.

2: Jan-Hendrik Wessels (Bulls)

One of his best games for the Bulls yet. Spot on with his lineout throwing, strong in the scrums, bullish with ball in hand, scored an excellent long-range intercept try and made a couple of great offloads, including a try assist for Mchunu.

1: Gerhard Steenekamp (Bulls)

Made a big statement in the first scrum and continued his dominance to the nth degree. Won four penalties in the set piece and forced an emasculated Max Lahiff to concede a yellow card.

Quintin Van Jaarsveld is a former MDDA-Sanlam SA Local Sports Journalist of the Year and a former three-time Vodacom KwaZulu-Natal Sports Journalist of the Year. Formerly the sports editor and Outstanding Journalist of the Year award winner at The Fever Media Group, deputy editor at eHowzit, editor at and senior staff writer at, he boasts over 15 years’ experience and is currently a freelance sports writer.

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