Moerat keen to get stuck in for DHL Stormers

PUBLISHED: February 27, 2024

Salmaan Moerat is thrilled to be back in action for the DHL Stormers and ready to go all-out for the business end of the season.

The towering lock made his return from a shoulder injury two weeks ago off the bench as the DHL Stormers beat coastal rivals the Hollywoodbets Sharks in Durban.

Moerat was named skipper this season but the 25-year-old last featured in Round One of the Vodacom United Rugby Championship.

He relished making a return as the DHL Stormers continued their unbeaten run in the competition against South African opponents dating back to December 2021.

“The week leading up to the game, I was very excited,” Moerat said. “I think before kick-off some good nerves started kicking in. It honestly was a feeling I thoroughly missed.

“I settled in really nicely and it didn’t even feel like I was out for as long as I was – kind of like riding a bike, everything became second nature.”

Neethling Fouche, Brok Harris and Deon Fourie shared the armband in the interim, and Moerat hailed the leadership group of the DHL Stormers who have done such a good job as a collective this season.

“I’ve always loved leadership but for me, leadership is about the collective. Looking at the calibre of those names, it makes leadership in this team a lot simpler,” Moerat added.

“That being said, I am definitely excited to be back, and serve the team the best way I know how.”

The return of Moerat adds to the team’s lock stocks along with the likes of Ruben van Heerden and Adre Smith, who is coming into his own as a hard-grafting enforcer.

“I think the competition for places within the team is very healthy at the moment, and more so at lock. Ruben and Adre have played some great rugby this season,” Moerat explained.

“They have laid a solid foundation for our line-outs and have worked tirelessly in the scrums. I think the team is in a great place with anyone being able to step in and do a great job. Healthy competition always brings the best out of us, and keeps our standards where they need to be.”

The DHL Stormers and the Vodacom Bulls clash on Saturday at Loftus Versfeld when the Vodacom URC resumes this week, and the Capetonians will look to continue their impressive form in South African derbies.

With just five points separating the DHL Stormers, in sixth on the league standings, and the third-placed Vodacom Bulls, after 10 rounds of the competition, Moerat expects a tough challenge.

“It’s getting to the business end of the competition now and this weekend’s result can determine a lot for both sides in the run to the playoffs.

“I expect nothing less than an end-to-end physical battle, and derbies like these are the games you want to be part of!”