Stormers star Hacjivah Dayimani is looking to show off his skill set and express himself on the field ahead of the massive north-south derby against the Bulls on Friday in the United Rugby Championship.
Dayimani has been in blistering form at number eight in the absence of Evan Roos, earning himself a man of the match award in the Champions Cup against London Irish.
The loose forward showed his extreme pace for a big man when he scored a runaway try from around the halfway line leaving all the defenders in his wake.
For now, the focus shifts back to what is always a massive game against the Bulls and their first meeting since the URC final last season, where the Stormers claimed the title.
“It’s always a big game, and a great one to measure yourself,” Dayimani said. “Every game, I’m growing so the most important thing is to continue trying to get my best game, and especially against the Bulls.”
Dayimani’s game revolves around his running ability, both with pace and power, which opens up opportunities for team-mates that he connects with using an impressive skill set.
However, he has learnt to adapt his game when the weather or circumstances limit his natural influence.
“Sometimes the type of rugby being played doesn’t allow me to get into my game, either by the way the opposition is playing or the weather,” Dayimani said.
“For my type of game, it’s always been about running, and in the past when it got rainy, I struggled.
“I still try to beat my man when it’s wet, but I’ve also adapted, doing more work off the ball, on defence and in contesting in the lineouts.
“I’m just trying to express myself more on the field while trying to find work and do what I need to do.”
The Stormers have played in various weather conditions this season, from sunny South Africa to rainy Wales to freezing cold France, and Dayimani has learnt a lot through the experiences.
“Playing overseas was an eye-opener, especially with the weather, and against Clermont, it was very cold, and the crowd was hostile – we’re not used to crowds booing us for 80 minutes,” he said.
“With Deon Fourie being managed and Evan Roos absent, I try to make sure that everything operates smoothly as much as possible. A leader is not someone who just talks but who gives energy in the way he plays and makes the team want to follow him.
“Giving the team front-foot ball is the best form of leadership you can bring,” he added.
Jake White rested a host of Bulls stars over the last two weeks to target the north-south derby while the Stormers have been playing their superstars. Dayimani, however, is not concerned and knows the Stormers will need to bring their A-game.
“I think the plans for the Vodacom Bulls and plans for us are completely different. We just want to get as much rugby together as possible,” he said.
“There has been a lot of hype, but I just know that when Friday comes, it doesn’t matter who’s rested or not; we’re going to bring our A-game.”
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