HONOURS EVEN AS EDINBURGH DRAW WITH DHL STORMERS
Edinburgh Rugby shared the United Rugby Championship spoils in a 20-20 draw with DHL Stormers at the DAM Health Stadium tonight.
The home side enjoyed the dream start when wing Darcy Graham had the 5985-crowd on their feet as he crossed the line for the opening try after just three minutes – stand-off Jaco van der Walt coming flat on to the ball and slipping through the defence before sending the winger on his way.
Van der Walt added the extras before again causing problems for the Stormers’ rear guard – supporting scrum-half Ben Vellacott the beneficiary as he latched on to the offload and raced in from outside the 22.
Van der Walt again converted, and Edinburgh were looking good for their 14-0 lead in under 10 minutes.
The visitors showed impressive resilience, however, and some sublime handling saw the ball shipped out wide across the park and then quickly back in field to find full-back Warrick Galant to come on to the ball at pace and cross the paint, with stand-off Tim Sweil adding the extras.
Sweil added a three-pointer as the South African defence repeatedly held Edinburgh’s attempts at bay, before contorting the match momentum and their defence into attack – number 8 Evan Roos breaking free and putting away scrum-half Paul de Wet under the sticks.
Sweil converted, with the game tied at 17-17 on the half hour mark, before he and Van der Walt exchanged penalties to finish the half all square.
The second-half was as tense and terse as the first was free-flowing, both sides doing well to halt each other’s’ designs on the white line.
Such was the balance of the encounter, that the previously flawless marksmen both exchanged chances to take the lead, each falling just short in an eventful half which ended with the scoreboard undisturbed and two championship points apiece.
Player of the match
Van der Walt maintained his impressive start to the season and was heavily involved in all of Edinburgh’s points.
The fly-half played in Graham for the first try of the night, then did likewise for Vellacott to score the second, while also kicking two conversions and two penalties.
Play of the match
Edinburgh cut their visitors open in impressive fashion in the early stages and their second try was particularly impressive.
Van der Walt was at the heart of the move and his perfectly executed lay-off allowed the on-form Vellacott to cruise in between the posts.
Kick-off 5:15 pm