Stormers loose forward Hacjivah Dayimani takes a break. Image: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix.

Stormers’ Champions Cup loss fuels fire for URC success

Stormers seek redemption in URC after Champions Cup loss, aiming for top-four finish with returning players and lessons learned.


Stormers loose forward Hacjivah Dayimani takes a break. Image: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix.

The Stormers are determined to prove their mettle against Europe’s elite teams despite falling short against La Rochelle in the Champions Cup. The South African outfit took the defeat to heart but is now channelling their energy into the United Rugby Championship (URC), with just five matches left in the regular season.

Presently holding the fifth spot on the points table, the Stormers have their sights set on a top-four finish to secure home play-offs. To realise this ambition, they must emerge victorious in all of their upcoming fixtures, beginning with a showdown against the Ospreys in Cape Town on Saturday night.

Bolstered by Returning Talent

The Stormers will field their strongest lineup, barring injured flanker Deon Fourie and winger Leolin Zas, both nursing long-term knee injuries.

Skipper Salmaan Moerat and loose forwards Hacjivah Dayimani and Ben-Jason Dixon are poised to make their return after successfully completing concussion return-to-play protocols.

Assistant coach Dawie Snyman recognised the Ospreys’ prowess in the forward pack, noting, “Their game heavily relies on their forwards. Before considering their backs, you must first address their front-line game and how to counter it.

They boast a well-drilled side upfront and possess a formidable set piece.”

Stormers Seek to Grow from La Rochelle Setback

The Stormers’ strong showing against La Rochelle highlighted their capacity to rival Europe’s top clubs. Snyman believes the squad can draw valuable lessons from the experience and build upon their commendable first-half display.

“We held a 13-0 lead and showcased some excellent rugby in the first half. However, there were instances where we surrendered the momentum to them. Elite teams can capitalise on that momentum and exert pressure on you to fight back and put points on the board,” Snyman remarked.

Stormers Assured in Their Ability to Vie

Notwithstanding the frustration of the La Rochelle outcome, the Stormers maintain faith in their ability to vie at the pinnacle of the sport. Snyman stressed, “We’ve gained insights, but we recognise our potential to compete with the best. Whether at home or away, it makes no difference.”

The Stormers are eager to reignite their winning form against the Ospreys on Saturday evening as they strive to lock down a home playoff berth in the URC.

With a full week of respite and no international travel, the squad should be well-equipped to tackle the impending hurdles.

As the reigning URC champions, the Stormers possess the skill and resolve to excel in both domestic and European tournaments. Their forthcoming clashes will serve as a pivotal assessment of their capacity to rebound from adversity and uphold their position among the league’s elite.