Springbok discard Leyds shines in Stormers victory over Bulls

Springbok discard Leyds shines in Stormers victory over Bulls

Out-of-favour Springboks winger Dillyn Leyds made a vital contribution as Western Stormers climbed five places to sixth in Super Rugby Saturday with a 24-23 win over Northern Bulls. 

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Leyds, first capped by South Africa two seasons ago but seemingly not in the 2019 World Cup plans of coach Rassie Erasmus, was instrumental in the try that proved decisive in Cape Town.

The Stormers had just taken a 17-16 lead in the South African derby through a Josh Stander penalty when Leyds gathered a clearance from Bulls substitute Manie Libbok and embarked on a mesmerising run.
Leyds dodged four would-be tacklers to advance within a few metres of the tryline before sending Herschel Jantjies over and Stander converted for an eight-point advantage. 
The score remained 24-16 in favour of the Stormers, who suffered a 37-point drubbing by the Bulls in Pretoria two months ago, until the hosts gifted the visitors a late converted try.
After the siren sounded for full-time at Newlands stadium, the Stormers opted to run the ball from behind their tryline in search of a fourth try which would have earned a bonus point.
But they were soon dispossessed and Libbok raced clear to score and skipper and fly-half Handre Pollard converted to give the three-time former champions a losing bonus point.
Although the Stormers decision to run the ball instead of booting it into touch and ending the match backfired, skipper and flanker Siya Kolisi defended the move.
"We had already won the game and decided the risk was worth taking," said the loose forward.
"Winning was all that mattered today after four losses in our last five matches and with four of our remaining six matches at home, we are in contention for the knockout phase." 
While defending champions the Canterbury Crusaders are the runaway leaders and set to top the regular season table, most of the other 14 sides are contenders for top-eight slots.  
Stormers have 23 points from five wins and five losses to lie sixth overall and third in the South African conference behind the Coastal Sharks (26 points) and Bulls (24).   
"I thought the Stormers were brilliant during the first 20 minutes. They were really physical and carried the ball well," said first-choice Springboks fly-half Pollard.
"But we stuck in there and fought well only for a couple of plays to go against us. It is something we can learn from."
Sergeal Petersen and Seabelo Senatla scored tries that Jean-Luc du Plessis converted while Pollard slotted three penalties to leave the Stormers 14-9 ahead at half-time. 
After an Ivan van Zyl try converted by Pollard put the Bulls two points ahead, the Stormers scored 10 points in a three-minute purple patch that swung the match their way.

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