Zas keen to light it up for DHL Stormers

PUBLISHED: March 28, 2024

Wing Leolin Zas is keen for the DHL Stormers to build on the attacking spark they showed against Edinburgh last week as they embark on a challenging sprint down the home straight.

Zas scored two tries to help the DHL Stormers claim a bonus-point victory over the Scottish side in a Vodacom United Rugby Championship match at DHL Stadium last week.

It was the DHL Stormers’ first game back in Cape Town since January and Zas was delighted to put on a show for the Faithful.

“It was an exciting game. It was good to play in front of our home fans again,” Zas said.

“We are slowly but surely starting to find our rhythm again. It was good to get the ball in my hands. The team always looks to try and give us opportunities. The challenge for us is just to finish those opportunities.”

The game against Edinburgh gave Zas a first opportunity to play alongside mid-season signing Wandisile Simelane, who enjoyed an excellent outing in his first DHL Stormers start.

Simelane adds to a wealth of backline talent at the DHL Stormers, ensuring that every player stays at his best from week to week.

“It was really nice to play next to Wandisile,” Zas said. “He’s a quality 13. He has an eye for space and fits right in with our DNA.

“The nice part about the squad is everybody comes in and gives their best, even if you’re not part of the matchday 23. Everybody wants to grow and make themselves better players. We all try to help wherever we can and try to improve each other.

“We have so many quality players and know what the coaches expect from us and what we expect from each other. Our depth looks good and we can only grow from here.”

Next up for the DHL Stormers is a clash with Irish contenders Ulster at DHL Stadium, a repeat of the 2021-22 semi-final.

That game memorably went down to the wire, with Manie Libbok slotting a touchline conversion after the hooter to send the DHL Stormers into their first Vodacom URC final.

“It’s going to be a tough one,” Zas said. “We are a team that focuses a lot on ourselves and we are trying to get right the things that we want to do. We aren’t going to look too much into Ulster, but instead at our opportunities and trying to finish them. Saying that, Ulster is a quality team and deserve plenty of credit.”

Among Ulster’s ranks is former DHL Stormers captain Steven Kitshoff, who will return to Cape Town for the first time since taking up the move to Ireland after the 2023 World Cup.

“Kitsie is coming back and he’s going to feel at home, playing in front of his old fans,” Zas said.

“People still love him and he still has a lot of fans. It will be nice to play against him, even though it might feel a bit weird. The guys are excited, I’m excited and we will see how it goes this weekend.”