Stormers have a score to settle with the Warriors

John Dobson. | BackpagePix

John Dobson. | BackpagePix

Published Jun 4, 2024


Leighton Koopman

The Stormers want to set the record straight when they face the Glasgow Warriors on Saturday in the quarter-final of the United Rugby Championship (URC)

Scotstoun Stadium hasn’t been the most welcoming to the inaugural winners over the last couple of seasons and they are winless against the Scottish club over in Glasgow.

But it’s something John Dobson, Stormers head coach, wants his team to fix in the URC quarter-final on Saturday (kick-off 8.35pm).

“It’s a record we want to put straight. We’ve had two really tough games there where things haven’t gone our way,” Dobson said yesterday about their run in Glasgow.

“They play a nice brand of rugby and are loaded with Scottish internationals. We’ve embraced playing overseas after losing that Ospreys game at home and have spoken about it a lot. That is why there was a massive emphasis on our last tour. It’s an important part of our growth, to win the type of games coming up this week.

“We were a bit thinned out last time we went there in November. I know Damian (Willemse) and Deon (Fourie) are not there, but personnel-wise, and looking at the squad’s evolution, we are considerably better than when we were there last time.

“I do think we are better equipped for this trip.”

The Stormers will travel in three to four groups and will only get together on Thursday for the first training session

It’s not an ideal situation, as described by Dobson, but they remain optimistic about their chances of reaching the final four.

“It is challenging,” Dobson said yesterday of their travel arrangements.

“We didn’t know where we were going until Saturday evening. But SA Rugby has been very helpful in giving us some better-quality seats. The truth is, as a touring party some of the guys left at 1pm, and some will leave at 1pm tomorrow ...

“Some will even go on Wednesday night. It limits your training time.

“We sent some staff out today and the main group will fly tomorrow (today). We are not all hopping on a plane tonight. So the players’ maturity, taking this all on board and understanding the plan is really important given our reduced (training) time.

“There’s not much we can do when we get there. But we have become used to it over the last two tours where we left (Cape Town) late. But it is a challenge.”

The home team has an array of threats across the park the Stormers will have to contend with. And there is the home support that will be equally intimidating.

A win this weekend will see the Stormers progress to the semis where one of Munster or the Ospreys will be waiting on them. Should Munster win, the Cape side will likely travel to Ireland directly from Glasgow.

But a win for the Ospreys will see them return to Cape Town for a semifinal at Cape Town Stadium.