South Africa

Winning inaugural URC gives Stormers edge over Munster in final

John Dobson 1 1

Having been there and done it before gives Stormers coach John Dobson extra belief that his side can do it again and defend their title when they take on Munster in the United Rugby Championship (URC) final at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday evening (kick-off 6:30pm).

The hosts won the inaugural edition last year by beating fierce local rivals the Bulls at the same ground, but this time round face a completely different challenge in the Irish giants, who toppled tournament favourites Leinster in the semis.

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“Last year, even though it was the URC final, it felt like another local derby. We know those guys so well and it was another Bulls versus Stormers game that stretches back 80 years,” explained Dobson.

“This year it is brilliant. You have an Irish European giant in Munster against us. And I personally feel that having been in this final (before) we have a bit more institutional knowledge and a bit more confidence since we know what we are in for.

“The big thing is we have never beaten Munster in the URC, they’re the only team we haven’t beaten. So that causes a bit more anxiety.”

Top season

It has been another top season for the Stormers and although they have already reached all of the goals they set out for themselves before the campaign started, Dobson admitted that they are desperate to win again and not let their fans down.

“I feel like we have had a really normal week (in training). There haven’t been too many distractions and our plans for the game are solid,” said Dobson.

“The tough thing is we have this vision of what we wanted to do with rugby in Cape Town. And to a large degree we have achieved that. So whatever happens tomorrow we have done our job.

“When we wrote our list of goals at the start of the season, retaining the URC trophy wasn’t on it. But In truth we are desperate to win tomorrow and we feel it will be a hollow achievement of goals if we don’t.

“Cold logic has given way to quite high levels of emotion, anxiety and enthusiasm. We don’t want to let the people down. The whole city has embraced rugby like I have never seen, and we really want to give them something to cheer for again.”