VIDEO: Remember season one?
The Stormers, having lost their first three matches on tour, will look to finish of the trip with a win against a tricky Cardiff outfit – also having to adjust to the artificial 4G pitch.
After wins over the Lions (35-33) and Scarlets (52-7), they lost all three matches on tour – 9-20 to Glasgow Warriors, 17-20 to Benetton and 3-10 to Munster last week.
Despite the current losing streak, the men from Cape Town are adamant that the tour will not define their season or them as a team.
Centre Ruhan Nel made it clear they are not ready to reach for the panic button just yet.
“We have a group of new players that are still learning the system,” he said.
He pointed to a well-documented fact, that in season one of the URC, they were second from bottom after their first trip abroad.
They bounced back and not only finished second in the standings, but ended up beating the Bulls in the Final of the inaugural tournament.
“We have the benefit of guys who have played in that season,” the veteran midfielder and former BlitzBok star said.
“It is not an unfamiliar place for us to be,” he said of the current losing streak.
“We are a long way away from panic stations and asking questions.
“We are building towards something and seeing the progress.”
Turning to Friday’s game, backline and attack coach Dawie Snyman, admitted they will need to produce something special to win on Arms Park’s 4G surface.
Their only previous face-off in Cardiff saw the home team win 30-24 – with their two previous encounters, both in Cape Town, resulting in 40-3 routs for the Stormers.
Snyman said ‘elements’ of their kicking game will be vital on Friday.
“It is not just the kick, but how you set up the kicks and how you position yourself to manipulate their backfield,” he told @rugby365com.
“We want to kick on our terms and make it difficult for them when they kick.
“We have some plans around that [kicking], but if they get it right on the day they are a difficult team.”
While no rain is expected, the temperature will drop down to the low single digits – from a ‘high’ of 9°C.
“It will be a good evening to play some rugby,” Snyman added.
Nel admitted they are looking to play a bit more, given the challenging conditions they experienced in Ireland last week.
(WATCH as Stormers assistant coach Dawie Snyman and centre Ruhan Nel chat to @king365ed about their URC Round Six encounter with Cardiff…)
“It [an expansive game] is a big part of the team’s identity,” he told @rugby365com.
“We love running rugby and we love getting ourselves into positions to give the ball a bit of air.”
The challenge is that they will be up against a seasoned South African at flyhalf, former Pumas No.10 Tinus de Beer.
“He has a very good kicking game, so we should not fall into the trap and [rather] get them into transitions where we feel empowered to attack.
“It comes back to us doing our basics well, implementing our plan and opening up space to start running.”