Sacha primed for sprint finish

PUBLISHED: May 16, 2024

Fit-again Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu is relishing the opportunity to add his shoulder to the DHL Stormers’ playoff push in the final rounds of the Vodacom URC regular season.

Feinberg-Mngomezulu made an excellent return from injury last week when the DHL Stormers claimed a bonus-point victory over Dragons RFC in Newport to kickstart the two-match Vodacom URC tour.

The 22-year-old played off the bench and grabbed a brace of tries in the final 10 minutes, including the all-important fourth try to help the DHL Stormers come away with a full house of log points.

“I was honestly so happy to be out there with my teammates again,” Feinberg-Mngomezulu said. “When I first came on the field and went to the huddle I felt a sense of gratitude and I just wanted to make the most of the opportunity.

“Thanks to some class players around me, I was handed two tries! I loved getting on and contributing in that short space of time.”

The game in Newport was Feinberg-Mngomezulu’s first match since March and his eighth appearance of the campaign for the DHL Stormers.

While injuries have limited his involvement this season, Feinberg-Mngomezulu has continued to make an impact whenever he is on the field, with his brace of tries taking his season tally to 70 points.

“I’ve had a couple of injuries now and I know that the time off the field can be used positively to prepare for what’s to come instead of sulking about what’s happened,” he said.

“Making a conscious decision to use my rehab time wisely is what helped me get back focused and hungry for the most important part of the season.”

The win at Rodney Parade saw the DHL Stormers retain fifth place on the Vodacom URC table with two rounds to play and 10 teams still in the running for the top eight play-off places.

While securing a spot in the top eight is a strong motivator, Feinberg-Mngomezulu explains the DHL Stormers are also driven on by playing for the people of Cape Town.

“Regardless of where we are in the season, we all want to make a positive impact,” he said. “This project means so much more to us than people know – from our coaches, to backroom staff, to the people who get public transport into Cape Town to watch our game.

“So myself and the other boys will be hungry to make a positive impact at this crucial part of the season.”

Next up for the DHL Stormers in a clash with Irish side Connacht in Galway on Saturday. The team’s only previous visit to the Dexcom Stadium ended in a 19-17 defeat in torrential rain, but conditions are expected to be warmer this week as spring gives way to summer in the northern hemisphere.

“I’m not shy to say that we love moving the ball around so warmer conditions are nice,” Feinberg-Mngomezulu explained.

“With that being said, we have an extremely hungry and physical pack that isn’t shy to get down and dirty. We have a world-class flyhalf in Manie Libbok, who is capable of putting teams under pressure with his boot, so we just want to get on the field – come rain or shine.”

Having enjoyed his DHL Stormers breakthrough in the 2021-22 Vodacom URC play-offs, Feinberg-Mngomezulu is now into his third season with the team and is focused on harnessing his role as an impact player.

“I’ve earned many DHL Stormers caps off the bench so I understand my role in trying to make an impact. That’s been my main focus, coming on and making positive contributions to the game taking the team forward.

“My energy off the bench is a controllable so I’m trying to be consistent in that, week in and week out.”