Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Stormers hope for Feinberg-Mngomezulu boost ahead of Munster clash

Assistant coach Rito Hlungwani admitted Feinberg-Mngomezulu was back in training and possibly up for selection for the massive match

The Stormers will be hoping for good news when they take on United Rugby Championship (URC) defending champs Munster in Limerick on Saturday, with rising talent Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu set to possibly return for the match.

Feinberg-Mngomezulu has enjoyed a superb start to the season for the Stormers, starting at inside centre in their opening three games and scoring 38 points through three tries, four conversions and five penalties.

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He also picked up the man-of-the-match award in their games against the Lions in Johannesburg and Scarlets in Stellenbosch, while he was the teams only point scorer in their loss against Glasgow Warriors.

However a knock picked up in that game in Scotland saw him miss out on the loss to Benetton in Treviso, but assistant coach Rito Hlungwani admitted he was back in training and possibly up for selection for the massive match against Munster.

“Sacha is still with us on tour. He has been training. He ran and he really looked good. Hopefully, we will have good feedback from the doctors when we finalise the team,” said Hlungwani.

“We have been unlucky in the 10 to 12 position (with injuries), but the guys who stepped in, we are happy with. I think Blomme (Clayton Blommetjies) did well (at flyhalf) in the first two games.

“We are a team of fighters, and the guys have put their hands up. We would be happy to have some specialists coming back in those positions.”

Lineout struggles

One of the aspects that forwards coach Hlungwani will be most worried about from their loss against Benetton over the past weekend is their struggles at lineout time.

Despite the fact that they scored a try off a rolling maul in the first half, the Stormers had two crucial lineouts in the hosts half while chasing the game in the dying minutes, with them losing both to fall to a 20-17 defeat in the end.

 “I don’t think I slept much because of those two lineouts. So, obviously, I would’ve done some serious analysis. But it’s part of the process. Look at our system,” explained Hlungwani.

“Ruben (van Heerden) played four-lock last year. Gary Porter was injured for most of the season, and we lost Marvin Orie (who left for France).

“It takes me back to the first season when we just had Adre (Smith) and Salmaan (Moerat), and Salmaan was calling the line-outs. There were a lot of growing pains during that time, and it is the same this time.

“We are finding each other, and trying to improve the system. There will be mistakes along the way, and it is things that can be fixed. We need to look for improvement consistently.”

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