Stormers would be ‘fresh’ for URC final if they clear Connacht hurdle

Sacha Feinberg Mngomezulu of Stormers during the United Rugby Championship 2022/23 quarterfinal between the Stormers and Bulls at Cape Town Stadium

Sacha Feinberg Mngomezulu of Stormers during the United Rugby Championship 2022/23 quarterfinal between the Stormers and Bulls at Cape Town Stadium on 6 May 2023. Picture: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Published May 10, 2023


Cape Town - If the Stormers get over the Connacht hurdle on Saturday, their path to the United Rugby Championship final could be easier whether they play Leinster away or Munster at home.

And this prospect is exciting for the defending URC champions, but they know the focus will first be on beating Connacht on Saturday in the semi-final (4pm kickoff) at Cape Town Stadium.

Should they have to travel to Dublin for the final, they will face a Leinster team who has had four tough games in a row.

They faced Toulouse in the semi-finals of the Champions Cup, the Sharks arrived for the URC quarters, they play Munster this weekend in the semis of the URC and then La Rochelle await in the Champions Cup final at Aviva Stadium next Saturday.

Leinster can possibly make it two finals in a row at their home stadium, but the Stormers will be keen to rain on their parade if the two teams do square up on 27 May in the URC final.

The defending URC champions will have a week’s rest if they progress past the semi-finals on Saturday, while Leinster will have to play two finals in a row should they make it past Munster this weekend.

And that will be encouraging for coach John Dobson and his troops. They will possibly face a depleted Leinster side after all the knockout games they’ve played recently.

Even Munster will fancy their chances on Saturday in the all-Irish semi-final derby after looking at Leinster’s hectic schedule the last few weekends.

“I’ll make no bones about it, we are not equipped (to handle a schedule like Leinster’s) for it,” Dobson said.

“If we had gone to La Rochelle last Sunday, the mood wouldn’t be like this now. We would not have been able to play the same team in the URC quarter-final.

“There’s definitely an opportunity (at Leinster). We are going to be fresh if we do get there, and for us.”

But before they can think about arriving as a fresh team in Dublin, another Irish challenge awaits against Connacht. The team from Galway beat second-on-the-log Ulster to advance to the semis and will again go all out to collect the scalp of another top URC it’s exciting team.

The Stormers had little trouble dispatching the Bulls in their quarter-final over the weekend, but will be wary of taking Connacht lightly, especially with the Irish province travelling after a tough battle with Ulster.

Meanwhile, Stormers flanker Hacjivah Dayimani said they are eager to kick on after their win over the Bulls.

“We expect a totally different battle to what we got in Stellenbosch,” Dayimani said according to the Stormers website.

“We’ve seen what Connacht is capable of doing just by watching the Ulster game. We don’t expect an easy game.” every competition,” he said.

“When you can bring that all together and pull the best out of each competition, I think it’s a very good thing.”


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