Stormers urc final City of Cape Town

The Stormers have excelled in the URC in the first two seasons. Photo: SA Rugby website

Five reasons why the Stormers have achieved success

The Stormers have been the best franchise in South African rugby by miles for the past two seasons. Here are the reasons behind this success.

Stormers urc final City of Cape Town

The Stormers have excelled in the URC in the first two seasons. Photo: SA Rugby website

According to The South African’s Mubeen Mohamed, the Stormers’ success in recent times can be put down to these five factors.

The Brand of Rugby

The Stormers model or brand of rugby has been nothing short of amazing these past two seasons. It is often being described as “high risk and high reward” but the reality is that the Stormers have been the only franchise in South Africa who have played running rugby – or ball in hand rugby – which has had lots of X factor, entertainment.

Their ability to score tries from any situation, whether it be from turnover ball, loose play or at the set pieces, has just been excellent overall. Furthermore, their creativity, skills and fitness and conditioning have also allowed them to play this type of rugby, which has won them plenty of matches and made them a very popular team to watch in the United Rugby Championship and European Champions Cup.

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The Player Group

When we talk about player personnel or about players to watch, the Stormers have players all around the park that are exciting, dynamic and are a joy to watch for fans. In the forwards in the loose trio in particular with eightman Evan Roos and Hacjivah Dayimani leading the way with the big ball carries, running in the wide channels and plenty of tries being scored.

In the backline Manie Libbok has brought a different dimension to this team with his X factor play and his ability to create something out of nothing. Then, finally winger Leolin Zas, has been a try scoring machine – every time he touches the ball something magical happens, either running into space, running over players or just continuing to score tries all the time. Overall the player personnel is a treat to have for any coach.

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The Stormers have been a dominant force in recent times

The Coaching Environment

Head coach John Dobson and his coaching team have created an environment where every player in his squad (even the wider squad) has been welcomed, backed and valued. The winning culture can be attributed to the happy environment created by them. They have put a sense of belief in this team, given them the freedom to play, to express themselves and to play within the structures and systems that have been put into place. A big credit must go to them. Their coaching has been a winning recipe and something the players feel comfortable with and it just seems to get better and better all the time.

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The Faithful Fans

Whether it be at the DHL Stadium, The Danie Craven stadium or Nelson Mandela Bay stadium, the Stormers faithful fans have supported the Stormers regardless of where they play. No doubt that player 24 – the fans – must be one of the big factors why the Stormers have been a huge success over these past two seasons.

In terms of results, we’ve seen the Cape side win the inaugural United Rugby Championship in its first season, finish as runners-up this year and reach the quarter-final stage of the Champions Cup. Also on average, 30,000 fans have attended games which indicates that the Stormers are always well supported by the fans. The consistent two themes that Stormers have used also is “to make the people of Cape Town smile” and “to play for the people of Cape Town”. This shows how the Stormers team has valued and honoured the faithful fans.

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Winning on and off the field

The Stormers have been winning on the field – their home record is something to be proud of with 22 home wins out 24 games played (it has been a big fortress and some achievement). This has also been achieved while the union has been under administration by South African Rugby, having lost key players and been in tough financial position.

The situation off the field has changed, where the final stages of going out of administration has been confirmed two weeks ago, while new players have been signed for the new season and a private equity deal is being finalised as we speak this week.

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