Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Munster a tough place to win, but Stormers will go for it – John Dobson

Dobson admitted that there were a number of goals that the Stormers wanted to achieve on their European tour.

Stormers coach John Dobson says that they will be going all out to get the win despite being underdogs when they take on defending United Rugby Championship (URC) champs Munster at Thomond Park in Limerick on Saturday evening.

The Stormers have yet to beat Munster in the competition, losing in Ireland back in 2021 and then losing twice on home soil last season, including in the final at the Cape Town Stadium, so they will be eager to gain some revenge this weekend.

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However they head into the match in average form, having lost their last two matches, against Glasgow Warriors in Scotland and against Benetton in Treviso over the past weekend, and will need to put in a much improved performance from those games.

Team goals

Dobson admitted that there were a number of goals that the Stormers wanted to achieve on their European tour and they will still be striving to do that against Munster and in their last tour match.

“With a long early tour our goal was to use it to build depth, expose more players and get more exposure to the (different) conditions (up North). Another of our objectives was to get two wins on the tour,” explained Dobson.

“Unfortunately with us, to a large extent, throwing away the game last week (against Bentton) has put us under a bit of pressure.

“Munster is a tough place to go. You can see they’ve brought their Irish internationals back and we are playing them at home. So it is going to be a tough one in that respect. But our main goal is we want to see a bit of an improved performance.

“We felt we let ourselves down last week. So we would like to be more accurate at the set pieces and more clever with our kicking game, which was some of what we got wrong last week. So we just want to be better. Munster is a tough place to try get the win, but we will go for it.”

Leolin Zas

It will be a big match for Stormers wing Leolin Zas who will be making his 50th appearance for the union, having battled his way back from a career threatening injury in 2016.

As an up and coming 19-year-old Zas suffered a horrendous leg break in a pre-season friendly and after recovering he was frustrated by lacklustre performances and playing time which saw him swith unions, but since his return to the Stormers has become a key player for them.

“It was such a horrendous injury. He’s a sprinter and people wondered if he would ever be able to run at full speed again,” explained Dobson.

“He then went through some dark times. He wasn’t wanted here, went to the Sharks, came back and then wasn’t making it here.

“But he then ends as top URC try scorer (in the first edition of the URC that the Stormers won). So it’s a great story for him.

“People might have been worried that first URC season was a flash in the pan. But he has gone and backed it up over the next season and a bit and is now a key member for us. So I am very happy for him.”

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