Jacques van der Westhuyzen

By Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Head of Sport


Stormers ready to get ‘down and dirty’ in crucial URC match against Connacht

The team from Cape Town cannot afford to lose this weekend as they chase a top eight finish this season.


The Stormers are just about out of the running to make it into the top four and a place at home in this season’s United Rugby Championship quarter-finals, but more importantly they have to keep on winning just to make sure they at least finish in the top eight and play in the knockout rounds.

It’s been a bit of an inconsistent season for the Stormers, who won the competition in its inaugural season, while they also played in the final last season, going down to Munster in an epic final.

Stormers season

This term, John Dobson’s team have struggled at times and with just two rounds of matches remaining they find themselves in fifth place on 50 points, six off the fourth-placed Bulls, so a lot will have to go their way if they’re to pass the Pretoria-based team on the log at the end of the campaign.

Dobson though will be more concerned though with just making it into the playoffs and two more wins will ensure that. If the Stormers though come unstuck this weekend against Connacht in Galway on Saturday (6pm) – the hosts also chasing a top eight place, from their current ninth place (44 points) – then they will probably have to win their last game in Cape Town against the Lions in two weeks’ time to qualify.

The thing is the Stormers, in fifth, are being hotly pursued by three other teams – Ulster (49), Edinburgh (48) and Benetton (48).

In their search for a crucial win, the Stormers will hope for good weather in Galway and outside back Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu, who returned to the team last week and scored two tries, said he was looking forward to the match.

‘Make most of opportunity’

“We love moving the ball around so warmer conditions are nice,” Feinberg-Mngomezulu said.

“With that being said, we have an extremely hungry and physical pack that isn’t shy to get down and dirty, so we just want to get on the field – come rain or shine.”

Feinberg-Mngomezulu added he was happy to be back in the Stormers mix after a frustrating time on the sidelines.

“I’ve had a couple of injuries now and I know that the time off the field can be used positively to prepare for what’s to come instead of sulking about what’s happened,” he said.

“I was honestly so happy to be out there with my teammates again,” Feinberg-Mngomezulu said. “When I first came on the field (from the bench) and went to the huddle I felt a sense of gratitude and I just wanted to make the most of the opportunity.

“Thanks to some class players around me, I was handed two tries! I loved getting on and contributing in that short space of time.”