DHL Stormers ready for ‘next step’ in Glasgow

PUBLISHED: June 2, 2024

The DHL Stormers are intent on taking the ‘next step’ in their growth as a team as they face their first-ever away play-off in the Vodacom URC in Glasgow.

The first two seasons of the Vodacom URC saw the DHL Stormers host both Grand Finals and play all six knock-out matches at DHL Stadium.

This season they finished the regular season in fifth place, with a hard-fought 29-24 win against the Emirates Lions in front of 35 202 of their fans on Saturday securing their position.

They will travel to Scotland next week to face the Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun Stadium in their quarterfinal, with kick-off set for 20h35 (SAST) on Saturday.

Director of Rugby John Dobson said the South African derby against the Emirates Lions was perfect preparation for the play-offs and added that his team are looking forward to showing that they have what it takes to deliver in a high-pressure knock-out match on the road.

“My overall sentiment is that I’m very proud. We would have liked to be in the top four, but to be top five in all three seasons of the Vodacom URC in what has been a tough season for us it was a nice way to finish before the play-offs against what was a very motivated and dangerous team.

“There are one or two technical points where I feel like we are not quite on the money yet, but we needed a good win in a really tough South African derby.

“It was probably about the perfect tee-off (for the play-offs) there were no injuries and everybody is thoroughly engaged for next week.

“At the start of the season we had some things we wanted to improve around our kicking game, our intensity as a pack and how we played away.

“This is the next step in our growth, we would have loved to have played at home, but it is not a bad thing for our growth to play away,” he said.

Dobson added that his team had to show immense character to come from behind and beat an Emirates Lions team that was fighting for their place in the play-offs.

“It was tough, the Emirates Lions were desperate, you could see their disappointment at the end.

“The character we showed at the end there is what this team has got buckets of,” he said.