Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Stormers’ big Euro challenge: To win away from Cape Town Stadium

Despite them targeting a positive result from the match, the Stormers know exactly how big the challenge is of facing Leinster at home.

The Stormers are eager to use their massive top of the table United Rugby Championship (URC) clash against Leinster on Friday night to further develop themselves as they try to build a winning culture overseas.

The Cape Town Stadium has become an absolute fortress for the Stormers, with them unbeaten at the ground since December 2021, but their away form overseas has been patchy, with all three of their losses and a draw this season coming on the road.

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They have thus set lofty standards in targeting a win in the coming match against the table toppers to help them develop more as a team.

Winning abroad

“This is something we have to become comfortable with, coming overseas and winning games. This is a game that we want to use to further develop ourselves in getting comfortable in playing overseas and getting the result that we want,” explained Stormers assistant coach Rito Hlungwani.

“If you look at the Champions Cup final that’s a destination final that is happening here at the Aviva Stadium (in Ireland). So in our minds this game against Leinster is a good one for us to get used to the conditions, training fields and hotels.

“It’s definitely good for us to be here and we want to be comfortable with winning games overseas which is part of us developing as a team.”

Big challenge

Despite them targeting a positive result from the match, the Stormers know exactly how big the challenge is of facing Leinster, who have won all 15 of their games in the URC so far, at home.

“It is a very good team that we are playing. Even before we joined the URC we were told that the best two teams in the Pro14 back then was Leinster A and Leinster B. So we know it’s going to be a challenge come Friday night, but it’s something we will be prepared for,” said Hlungwani.

The Stormers will be missing influential centre Ruhan Nel for the match, but have welcomed back a number of Springbok stars for the game which will give them a big boost.

“We have had Dan du Plessis, Suleiman Hartzenberg both play centre (in the URC). We have had Jean-Luc du Plessis play centre in the Currie Cup while Cornel Smit has also played centre. So we have good players that are available to play,” said Hlungwani when asked about the centre conundrum.

“They (the Boks) have been training with us since they came back from the Springbok camp, they have been doing really well and it’s nice to have them around.”

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