Durban — With that performance against the Lions, Hacjivah Dayimani couldn’t have asked for a better start to Western Province’s Currie Cup campaign.
The 24-year-old, who has suffered a frustrating run of injuries since moving to Cape Town — was instrumental in Jerome Paarwater’s side’s 48-36 victory over his former team.
The attack-savvy back-rower was in his element with the game the Capetonians played on Saturday as he worked his magic in the wider channels, wreaked havoc with ball-in-hand, contributed two try-assists for Sevens star Angelo Davids, who scored a hat-trick, and also added his own name to the try-scorers’ list after breaking through the Lions’ defence.
Speaking after his first game in charge of the senior Province Currie Cup side, Paarwater praised the influence of Dayimani in their Round One victory.
"It's good to see Hacjivah back to his good old form. The type of rugby we played today is the type of rugby he enjoys. It really suits him well, he’s a quality player."
Exciting openside flanker Nama Xaba — who captained the side — also lauded the No 8’s silky and effective efforts.
"As a (loose forward) combination, I think we went well," he said.
"I've played alongside Hacjivah and I have played against him at age-group level before… I know he's devastating with ball in hand. If he gets us go-forward ball, he really makes my job a lot easier. It was a good performance from him."
The Stormers will resume their United Rugby Championship campaign when they take on the Bulls at Loftus next week.
The Stormers and Province haven’t officially split their playing squads for the respective competitions, so some of the guys who featured for WP against the Lions could get the nod for URC selection.
When asked about the possible disruption and how they are planning on handling it, Paarwater said: "I've spoken to (Stormers head coach) John Dobson about this game. It is a short turnaround so two or three guys will go up to join the URC side. We've always known it might happen," he said. "But, hopefully, 95% of the team stays the same."
Meanwhile, Lions head coach Mziwakhe Nkosi made it clear that he wasn’t happy with his outfit’s discipline.
While the young Lions side’s maul worked well and led to three of their five tries, their penalty count didn’t do them any favours.
"To say our discipline was terrible is actually an understatement," he said.
"The penalty count was 16 to 6 and at any level of the game, you're not going to win a game, regardless of the merits of those penalties.
"We also allowed them to score points four times after we did so. Take away those 20 points and the game would've looked different. We needed to manage our kick-offs better in particular."
Province next face the Bulls at Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday at 8pm.