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Second row resources and other Stormers concerns

The Stormers may have gone the entire 2022 without a single loss at home, but that won’t give them any guarantees as they enter the New Year.


The Stormers closed the gap on United Rugby Championship leaders Leinster to just three points after beating the Lions 40-8 in Cape Town on Old Year’s eve.

The URC title holders made it eight wins from 10 starts in this season’s competition with a bonus-point success.

However, more significantly, they completed an entire calendar year without losing in Cape Town – avenging the loss they suffered to the Lions at the same venue in December 2021, their last loss at the Green Point-based stadium.

Coach John Dobson sounded a cautious note in his post-match address with the media, reminding them of the challenges they face on the road in the URC and European Cup in January.

To add to their concerns, the Stormers are sweating over the results of a Head Injury Assessment test for Marvin Orie, who left the field in the 76th minute.

The Stormers will head to Europe this coming week without locks Salmaan Moerat (knee surgery), Gary Porter (rib), Ernst van Rhyn (ankle) and Adre Smith (foot) to injury.


“We’ve gone really thin at lock and if we have any more issues there we might have to look at bolstering our resources,” Dobson said.

“If Marvin were to fail his [HIA] test it’ll be a challenge for us.”

This comes ahead of the trip to Europe – which will see them face Glasgow Warriors in a Round 12 URC encounter next Sunday, January 8, at the Scotstoun Stadium.

In Round 13 (January 27) they travel to Ravenhill, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, for a clash with an Ulster team still seething from two close losses in Cape Town.


Squeezed in between are two Champions Cup fixtures – London Irish at the Brentford Community Stadium on January 15 and Clermont in Cape Town on January 21.

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The Stormers depart for Glasgow via Johannesburg, Doha and London on Monday.

Dobson said this week’s fixture takes on new significance, with a view of what is coming.

“As coaches, we have been discussing next week and how important it is,” he told @rugby365com.

The Stormers coach mentioned their two previous URC encounters with Ulster – a pool match that finished with a controversial disallowed try that went against the Irish province and the semifinal that also finished with Springbok flyhalf Manie Libbok kicking a match-winning conversion seven minutes into additional time in a 17-15 win.

With Ulster awaiting them at the end of the month, a win over Glasgow this coming Sunday become a very important game for the Stormers -0 especially as they will be without a number of their Springboks.

“In terms of the URC we’ve got Glasgow and Ulster away and if we want to get that home play-off we’re going to have to win one of those, and that’s tough,” the coach said.

“And in the Champions Cup, we’ve got London Irish away, and that’s tough.

“The Springboks like [captain] Steven [Kitshoff] won’t be playing at Ulster, which makes next weekend’s Glasgow game hell of important.

“If we get Glasgow right – and it won’t be easy in those conditions on that pitch – were we finish on the standings will be very much in our own hands.”

They also have three local derbies to go – the Springbok-laden and vastly-improved Sharks home and away, along with travelling to Loftus Versfeld for a rematch with a “good” Bulls team seeking revenge.


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