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VIDEO: Munster structure versus Stormers razzle-dazzle

It will be contrasting styles when the Stormers host Munster in the United Rugby Championship Final in Cape Town on Saturday.

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The Stormers, spearheaded by the creative skill of Manie Libbok, trust their confusing and colourful, often gaudy, style of play.

Munster, in stark contrast, relies on a more structured approach – happy to take the ball through multiple and repetitive phases.

It is styles that brought both successes this season and what they will again rely on in the Grand Finale at the Cape Town stadium.

The former Munster and Irish stalwart Christiaan Stander said Munster showed in their (16-15) URC semifinal win over fellow Irish powerhouse how they go about winning under pressure.

“They ensured they retained possession,” Stander told @rugby365com.

“The line-outs, rucks and scrums were 100 percent spot on.

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“In the last five minutes, getting the ball in the 22 and then setting up a drop-goal three minutes later – that is the Munster structure for you.”

He said that the ‘structured approach’ is the way Munster wants to play.

(Article continues below the Christiaan Stander interview …)

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“There are a lot of young players coming through that understand the game plane,” he said, adding: “There are also younger players with no fear.”

He suggested the ‘fear of failure’ may be one of the issues that kept Munster back in recent years.

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It has been more than a decade since the Limerick-based province last lifted major silverware – the 2010–2011 Celtic League title, a forerunner of the current URC competition.

Their most recent ‘victory’ was the 2016–2017 British and Irish Cup – the second-tier, semi-professional teams from Britain and Ireland.

The last of their two European Cup triumphs was in the 2007–2008 season.

“They’ve been to play-offs so many times, getting to quarterfinals and semifinals without going all the way,” Stander said.

“Now they have gone to Dublin and got over that fear [factor] and they have set themselves up to have a great season.”

The South African-borg loose forward, with 50-odd Irish caps and a Test for the British and Irish Lions, said there will be no ‘conflicting emotions’ on Saturday.

He is a true Munster man with more than 150 appearances for the Irish province.

Stander’s career began in his native South Africa, where he played for the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup between 2010 and 2012 and for the Bulls in Super Rugby in 2012.

He moved to Munster in 2012 and, after qualifying via residency in 2015, made his debut for Ireland in 2016, going on to earn 51 caps for his adopted country, as well as one cap for the British & Irish Lions in 2017, before retiring in 2021.

@king365ed
@rugby365com

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