Hartzenberg wants to spark joy at DHL Stadium

PUBLISHED: May 28, 2024

Suleiman Hartzenberg says the DHL Stormers want to make Cape Town smile at DHL Stadium on Saturday before heading into the Vodacom URC play-offs.

The DHL Stormers head into the final round of the league phase having already qualified for the last eight.

This post-season assurance has done nothing to appease the DHL Stormers’ desire to mark their final home game of the regular season with a roaring performance against the Emirates Lions in the big South African derby in Cape Town this week.

“As the log stands, we’ll most certainly have an away playoff game and for us, it was of utmost importance that we got those two wins on tour for continuity away from home,” Hartzenberg said of victories against Dragons RFC and Connacht.

“It’s still going to be tough going forward but just to have the belief that we are able to produce overseas, and it’s not a curse, was important.”

The ninth-placed Emirates Lions are hunting their first Vodacom URC playoff appearance, a feat that hinges on getting the win this week.

“Everyone’s going out swinging and giving their best, especially the Emirates Lions, being in the position that they’re in,” Hartzenberg said.

“They’ll definitely come to give us a run for our money.

“It’s also an important match for us, seeing as it’s our last home game for the regular season, and we would like to carry the momentum into the playoffs as well as give the people of Cape Town one last smile before we head off.

“It’s quite an early kickoff but we want to leave DHL Stadium on a high and continue to build on our performances this season.”

The competition for spots among the outside backs at the DHL Stormers is fierce, but Hartzenberg believes there is great camaraderie in the group as they pursue a common goal.

“We definitely try to help each other the best way we can. There’s always been a close bond and we’re very supportive of one another,” he added.

“But we’re also there to perform for the team and our job is to make it as hard as possible for the coaches to choose!

“Whether it’s me, Leolin [Zas], Ben [Loader], Courtnall [Skosan], Angelo [Davids] or Wandi [Simelane] on the field, we’ll try in the week at training to give whoever is playing the best possible picture to be prepared for Saturday.”

The 21-year-old Hartzenberg has scored five tries in all competitions this season while showcasing his pace and aerial prowess. On the back of several standout performances, he attended his second Springbok workshop last week.

“Going in I was very nervous, not knowing what to expect, but I found it very informative and straight to the point,” he said.

“I came away looking at my game and going, ‘I can do that better’, and it helped open my eyes in ways I never thought it could. It was amazing and I was grateful to experience it.”