Saints beaten as Stormers take their chances to grab victory at the Gardens

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Saints were unable to claim victory on their return to action as DHL Stormers delivered a ruthless showing in a 45-29 success in Saturday's exhibition match.

The South African side were clinical on turnover ball as they secured a largely entertaining success at cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens.

Saints, who were playing for the first time since the Gallagher Premiership win against Newcastle Falcons on January 27, were in touch at half-time, trailing by just seven points.

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But Stormers eventually pulled away late on, and one of their players, Hacjivah Dayimani provided a real moment to remember as he scored and then jumped into the Barwell Stand before taking off his shirt to reveal a Saints jersey.

Will Glister scored twice for Saints against DHL Stormers (picture: Ketan Shah)Will Glister scored twice for Saints against DHL Stormers (picture: Ketan Shah)
Will Glister scored twice for Saints against DHL Stormers (picture: Ketan Shah)

It had echoes of a Barbarians-style celebration on a day when there was plenty for the fans who made the trip to the Gardens to enjoy.

Saints had gone ahead early on as Stormers presented wing Will Glister with the chance to dot down following a loose pass.

But the South African outfit soon responded as Callum Braley couldn't gather a kick before Wandisile Simelane picked up to score.

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Stormers were ahead four minutes later as No.8 Keke Morabe showed good footwork to slalom his way through and charge over the line.

A third away try arrived soon after as some clever kicking opened the door for Junior Pokomela to pick up and score.

Saints mounted a response as Juarno Augustus, who enjoyed a fine first half, broke away and got his side on the front foot before the ball was worked well for Glister to grab his second.

Stormers scored again before the break as Stefan Ungerer took a quick tap penalty and skated in under the posts.

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But Saints had the final say in an eventful first half as centre Burger Odendaal deservedly dotted down, capping his strong showing.

Wholesale changes were made by the home side at the break, and the opening exchanges of the second half were sluggish, with scrums the order of the day.

The game finally sparked into life again when Tom Litchfield carried superbly and Saints moved the ball sharply before Jake Garside raced away to score on the left.

It provided hope of a home win, but Stormers soon extinguished thoughts of Saints completing their comeback.

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The South African side finished strongly as Connor Evans was on hand to finish off after Godlen Masimla intercepted, before Dayimani won the race to a kick and grounded the ball before delivering his entertaining celebration.

Saints responded as Sam Graham, who made a big impact off the bench, latched on to a clever Robbie Smith lineout to score.

But Stormers rounded things off as Pokomela picked up his second try of the match.

Saints: 15 Jake Garside; 14 Will Glister, 13 Tom Litchfield, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Ollie Sleightholme; 10 Charlie Savala, 9 Callum Braley; 1 Emmanuel Iyogun, 2 Sam Matavesi, 3 Trevor Davison; 4 Tom Lockett, 5 Chunya Munga; 6 Angus Scott-Young, 7 Lewis Ludlam (c), 8 Juarno Augustus.

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Replacements: Robbie Smith, Tom Cruse, Alex Waller, Ethan Waller, Paul Hill, Temo Mayanavanua, Alex Moon, Geordie Irvine, Kayde Sylvester, Sam Graham, Tom James, Rory Hutchinson, Tom Seabrook, Ewan Baker, Alfie Garside (guest player).

DHL Stormers: 15 Warrick Gelant; 14 Chris Hollis, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Ben Loader; 10 Jurie Matthee, 9 Stefan Ungerer; 1 Brok Harris (c), 2 JJ Kotze, 3 Sazi Sandi; 4 Gary Porter, 5 Connor Evans; 6 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Junior Pokomela, 8 Keke Morabe.

Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 19 Scarra Ntubeni, 20 Ben-Jason Dixon, 21 Nama Xaba, 22 Marcel Theunissen, 23 Godlen Masimla, 24 Hacjivah Dayimani, 25 Damian Markus, 26 Suleiman Hartzenberg.

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