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Saturday Apr 6, 2024

Heroic DHL Stormers come up agonisingly short against La Rochelle

BKT United Rugby Championship side, the DHL Stormers, nearly overcame a raft of injuries to end La Rochelle’s reign as the Investec Champions Cup champions.

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In a near-identical finish to their clash earlier this season, the Stormers scored a try in the final act of the match, but this time, Manie Libbok just missed the wide-angle conversion.

Highly touted youngster Suleiman Hartzenberg gathered a cross-field kick to touch down and set up the nail-biting finish.

Earlier in the match, the Stormers raced out to an early lead and were 13 points clear at half-time before the champions showed their resistance to come back into the contest.

In the end, it would come down to the Stormers losing several players to injury as La Rochelle turned the screw.

For the home side, inside centre Damian Willemse was phenomenal as he set up their first try and almost scored another towards the end of the match.

WATCH: Incredible moment of sportsmanship from Will Skelton

La Rochelle relied on their powerhouse players Will Skelton, Levani Botia, and Gregory Alldritt, and now they look destined to face Leinster for the fourth season in a row should the Irish side down Leicester later today.

It was a heartbreaking end for the Stormers, who were sublime throughout and will take a lot from the contest as they look to reclaim the URC title they lost to Munster last season.

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As the final whistle blew in Cape Town, you could hear a pin drop as the visitors scraped home 22 – 21.

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