Suleiman Hartzenberg claims try treble as DHL Stormers beat Edinburgh

Suleiman Hartzenberg claims try treble as DHL Stormers beat Edinburgh

Suleiman Hartzenberg scored a hat-trick of tries as the DHL Stormers returned to winning ways in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship by beating Edinburgh 43-21 in Cape Town.

Edinburgh's hopes of cutting the gap on fourth-placed Munster were dashed by a Stormers team that produced some thrilling rugby.

Leolin Zas and Evan Roos touched down twice, with Manie Libbok kicking three conversions and Jurie Matthee one, as the Stormers secured a bonus point before half-time.

Edinburgh posted tries by wing Jake Henry, number eight Bill Mata and replacement hooker Paddy Harrison, all converted by Ben Healy.

The Stormers made a flying start and went ahead after 10 minutes when they attacked from deep, showcasing some brilliant handling, before Libbok's kick into space was gathered by Hartzenberg and he crossed unopposed.

Libbok added the conversion but Edinburgh were unfazed and they hit back through Henry, who gathered a loose ball 20 metres out and sprinted clear for a try which Healy converted.

Both teams had made their attacking intentions clear and the Stormers struck again when scrum-half Paul de Wet fired out a long pass to full-back Damien Willemse, who perfectly timed a scoring delivery to Hartzenberg.

Libbok's touchline conversion went over via the post and crossbar and he turned creator again just before half-time when another clever tactical kick caused chaos in Edinburgh's defence.

The visitors could not deal with it, fumbling possession, and Zas enjoyed a simple run-in as Stormers extended their lead to 12 points just before the break.

There was still time for Edinburgh to put themselves back in contention, with Mata charging over from the back of a lineout.

Healy's conversion made it 19-14 but more scintillating handling by the Stormers created a bonus-point try for Zas that Matthee converted as he took over kicking duties while Libbok received treatment for a head wound.

Edinburgh's woes continued early in the second period as Hartzenberg finished off another fine handling move to complete his hat-trick, then Roos went over and it was damage limitation for the visitors.

Harrison's score briefly gave them hope of a possible losing bonus point but that was extinguished by Roos completing his try double.

Vodacom Man of the Match

Willemse enjoyed a field day in terms of possession and space as his team produced some scintillating rugby. Although he did not finish among the try-scorers, he was at the heart of so many positive moments, proving a creative force that Edinburgh could not handle.

Play of the match

The Stormers set their stall out early that they were going to attack from deep whenever possible and Hartzenberg's opening try after just 10 minutes encapsulated such an approach. Edinburgh were initially cut open by brilliant handling and running angles from several players before Libbok's inch-perfect kick into space was gathered by Hartzenberg for an outstanding score.

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