Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

High energy Stormers ready for Ospreys challenge in URC

The Stormers are currently fifth on the URC log and have enjoyed a good winning run in the competition recently.

After a weekend off the Stormers are in high spirits and fired up for their United Rugby Championship (URC) match-up against Ospreys at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday night.

The Stormers were dumped out of the Champions Cup two weekends ago by French giants La Rochelle, in a thriller that saw the double champs over the past two seasons sneak a one point win in their last 16 clash.

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This meant the Stormers had the weekend off while the quarterfinals were battled out, and they are now refreshed and ready to get back down to business in the URC and welcome their Welsh visitors.

Focus on URC

Stormers assistant coach Dawie Snyman admitted that they were disappointed to have been knocked out of the Champions Cup, but that it had allowed them to recalibrate and put all their focus into the URC going forward.

“Obviously the loss was very disappointing and we have managed to discuss one or two things that we have learnt from that game,” said Snyman.

“It also helped with reconnecting the squad. When you go into these high-pressure games, there’s a group of players who are playing and a group helping them to prepare.

“So we broke that down and got together as a squad again. The guys had a bit of a break as well so the energy (in the squad) has been quite high and we are excited to get back into things.”

The Stormers are currently fifth on the URC log and have enjoyed a good winning run in the competition recently, and they will be heavy favourites for the game against their Welsh challengers.

Punching above weight

However Ospreys have been punching above their weight this season and currently sit seventh on the URC log, and Snyman believes that the Stormers will have to show them respect in the match.

“It is definitely not a walkover. They are a proud club. Toby (Booth, Ospreys coach) is a great guy and is very passionate. They will definitely want to come here and do well. So we will have to prepare well this week,” explained Snyman.

The visitors will also be traveling without two of their key players who suffered long term injuries, flank Jac Morgan and centre George North, but Snyman said they aren’t focused on who isn’t coming and more on the players that will be playing.

“When big players are unavailable it always makes a difference. But we believe whoever they select will do a good job. I think a lot of their game is around their forward pack, so we have to do the job there before we worry about what’s happening in the backline,” said Snyman.

“They are well coached up front and have a good set piece, so that’s something we have to be prepared for.”