Munster ready to 'paint' on Cape Town's blank canvas
Munster, the only team the Stormers have not yet beaten in the United Rugby Championship, is back in Cape Town.
This time the stakes are much higher.
The URC trophy is on the line when the Stormers host Munster in the Grand Finale on Saturday.
After two meetings, the Stormers are yet to beat Munster in the URC.
Their most recent meeting saw Munster record a famous win in a Round 17 encounter last month.
Munster defence coach Denis Leamy said they will take ‘some confidence from their win over the Stormers back in April.
Two first-half tries from Diarmuid Barron sent Munster on their way in a first half that ended in a 12-all stalemate at the half-time break, but a
Gavin Coombes score six minutes from time – converted by Ben Healy – clinched a famous win for the Irish province, despite a late Stormers rally.
Munster was the first team in two years to beat the Stormers in Cape Town.
“It is something we’ll grow on,” Leamy told a media briefing in the build-up to the Grand Finale.
However, he said Saturday is a ‘new game’.
(Article continues below Denis Leamy interview …)
“It is a blank canvas,” he said of Saturday’s outing.
“It is the Final of the competition,” Healy said, adding: “While we have the experience of having been here, last month there was [only] 29,000 people in the stands.
“Saturday there is going to be [a sell-out crowd of] 55,000.
“That is going to be a bit of a change already.”
He said finals like this take on a life of their own.
“It is very hard to predict which way the game will play out.
“Certainly we have seen the quality of their players up close, we saw the strength and sized of their forward pack and the ability of their players in terms of the ability and the skillset these players have.
“We are learning about the South African teams, as they are learning about the Irish teams – about what we do well and what we don’t do so well.
“It is very much a work-in-progress around formulating game plans against South African teams.
“It has been hugely exciting and to be back here for the Final is what dreams are made of.”