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SA United Rugby Championship Team of the Week – Round 8

The Stormers gave John Dobson and the near-40,000 fans in Cape Town Stadium an early Christmas present when they beat the Bulls 26-20 in an absorbing North-South derby on Saturday.


The Stormers gave John Dobson and the near-40,000 fans in Cape Town Stadium an early Christmas present when they beat the Bulls 26-20 in an absorbing North-South derby on Saturday.

The visitors outscored the hosts by three tries to two, but the Stormers controlled the contest with the boot of Manie Libbok proving decisive.

The victory meant the Capetonians remained unbeaten against their arch-rivals in the United Rugby Championship, a streak that now stands at seven straight wins.

With the game between the Sharks and the Lions being postponed to 6 January, our South African Team of the Week comprises eight Stormers and seven Bulls.

15: Willie le Roux (Bulls)

Such an influential visionary. Popped up at first receiver often and produced touches of class, including a spiralling long pass to send Canan Moodie over.

14: Canan Moodie (Bulls)

A gliding attacker who got onto the scoresheet and made a match-high 63 metres. Brilliant touch-finder and calmly defused a dangerous kick.

13: Ruhan Nel (Stormers)

Very elusive all evening with his footwork, created a try-scoring opportunity when he pounced on a loose ball and grubbered ahead, nice behind-the-back ball to Leolin Zas and scored a great try.

12: Damian Willemse (Stormers)

Delivered on all fronts, both at fullback and when he moved into the midfield following Jean-Luc du Plessis’ injury in the 39th minute. Classy drop goal and grubbers into touch, nearly scored a spectacular try and created one by winning the aerial contest of his own kick.

11: Kurt-Lee Arendse (Bulls)

Pure class. His breakdown penalty led to the opening try, showcased blistering speed and superb dribbling skills to score, made a try-saving tackle on Paul de Wet and was good in the air.

10: Manie Libbok (Stormers)

Proved a point by outperforming serial offender Johan Goosen in all departments including goal-kicking. Scored 13 points, his only miss coming from an ambitious long-range effort.

9: Embrose Papier (Bulls)

A polished performance by the forgotten Springbok, who’s back to his best. His kicking game was on point, good vision and execution of his grubber to set up Arendse and made a try-saving intervention on Willemse.

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

The Man of the Match impressed not only with his athleticism and acres of space he covered but his physicality as well, starting with a line break with his first carry. Brilliant turnover followed by fending off Goosen. Beat an unrivalled five defenders.

7: Elrigh Louw (Bulls)

Another industrious display. Made a match-high seven successful carries, broke tackles, put his body on the line on defence and stole a Stormers lineout.

6: Deon Fourie (Stormers)

Rampant with ball in hand, making a team-high 59 metres. So quick off the mark, and opportunistic. His breakaway from the base resulted in Du Plessis’ try and he made another break in the third quarter after having a try disallowed for a double movement.

5: Ruben van Heerden (Stormers)

A tireless titan who made an unbelievable 23 tackles. A busy ball carrier as well who made valuable post-contact metres and ran the lineout cleverly.

4: Janko Swanepoel (Bulls)

Like Van Heerden, he was a workhorse and the top tackler of his team with eight. Great first-step explosion, strong ball carrier and a fearless rock at the restarts.   

3: Wilco Louw (Bulls)

Strong at scrum time where he won a penalty and did valuable work in general play as well, highlighted by his clutch jackal in his 22.

2: Joseph Dweba (Stormers)

Handled the pressure the Bulls piled on in the lineout well, hitting the target every time aside from Louw’s steal and was a tank in the trenches.

1: Sti Sithole (Stormers)

Did the basics well. Meanwhile, Gerhard Steenekamp conceded a yellow card while Simphiwe Matanzima brought energy but conceded two costly scrum penalties.

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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