URC quarter-finals: Stormers beat Edinburgh 28-17 to set up Ulster semi-final

Hooker Dave Cherry scored a first-half try for Edinburgh in Cape Town
Stormers: (10) 28
Tries: Gelant, Nel, Roos Cons: Libbok 2; Pens: Libbok 3
Edinburgh: (10) 17
Tries: Cherry, Pyrgos Cons: Boffelli 2 Pen: Boffelli

Edinburgh fell short in Cape Town as Stormers won a tense contest to set up a home United Rugby Championship semi-final with Ulster.

Mistakes from Grant Gilchrist and Blair Kinghorn gifted Warrick Gellant an early try but Dave Cherry replied, with the game tied 10-10 at half-time.

Ruhan Nel and Evan Roos added scores shortly after the interval.

Henry Pyrgos hit back to keep the visitors in touch but the home side were strong enough to see it out.

It was a ninth win in a row for Stormers, who finished second in the table.

Manie Libbok converted two of the three home tries and knocked over three penalties to keep Edinburgh at bay, while Nel’s try came when Magnus Bradbury was in the sin-bin.

The Stormers took only two minutes to light up the scoreboard, with Gelant pouncing after Hacjivah Dayimani’s offload was fumbled into the end zone by Kinghorn.

Libbok reached 150 points for the season with the conversion and scored a penalty off the left-hand post after Emiliano Boffelli had got Edinburgh off the mark with a three-pointer at the other end.

The visitors opted against going for goal from their next penalty and were rewarded for their bravery when Cherry touched down from a line-out drive, with Boffelli nailing the conversion from wide on the left.

Boffelli executed a vital ankle tap to stop Gelant short of the line on the half-hour mark, but Bradbury was then yellow-carded for a high contact on Roos.

Edinburgh made it to half-time without sustaining any further damage, but the Stormers did get over before Bradbury’s return as Nel gathered from Seabelo Senatla to touch down.

Libbok added the extras in front of the posts and slotted over a penalty to open up a 10-point advantage, although he was off target after Roos picked up a loose ball to put further daylight between the sides.

Mike Blair’s men hit back straight away as Pyrgos scored under the posts after some strong carrying from Luke Crosbie, with Boffelli pulling Edinburgh back within eight.

However, Libbok added a subsequent penalty to move the Stormers 11 clear and complete the scoring.

‘Edinburgh need to be better’

Edinburgh captain Grant Gilchrist: “I think we turned up pretty well. I can’t fault the effort of the boys. We’re proud of how we scrambled.

“We just started out a bit slow at the start of each half.

“We need to be better. If you come to South Africa for a quarter-final, you have to be right up there and we weren’t quite at that level when it really mattered.

“We’ve come a long way this season, but we know there’s work to be done before we can come to places like this and win.”

Stormers: Warrick Gelant, Seabelo Senatla, Ruhan Nel, Rikus Pretorius, Leolin Zas, Manie Libbok, Herschel Jantjies, Steven Kitshoff, JJ Kotze, Frans Malherbe, Salmaan Moerat, Marvin Orie, Deon Fourie, Hacjivah Dayimani, Evan Roos.

Replacements: Andre-Hugo Venter, Brok Harris, Neethling Fouche, Adre Smith, Ernst van Rhyn, Nama Xaba, Godlen Masimla, Sacha Mngomezulu.

Edinburgh: Emiliano Boffelli, Darcy Graham, Mark Bennett, Chris Dean, Damien Hoyland, Blair Kinghorn, Henry Pyrgos, Pierre Schoeman, Dave Cherry, WP Nel, Jamie Hodgson, Grant Gilchrist, Luke Crosbie, Hamish Watson, Magnus Bradbury.

Replacements: Adam McBurney, Harrison Courtney, Lee-Roy Atalifo, Marshall Sykes, Ben Muncaster, Charlie Shiel, Jaco van der Walt, James Lang.

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