The Stormers’ locker room was party central after beating the Bulls in the United Rugby Championship (URC) final on Saturday, 18 June. The Cape Town franchise getting the proverbial monkey off their back, to earn a first title in their 25 years of existence.

It was sweet, sweet revenge for this new generation of Stormers stars. The old foe – the Bulls slain.

Almost immediately after fly-half, Manie Libbok kicked the Stormers into the final, fans reminisced about the heartbreak felt in the Super Rugby final in 2010.

Back then, the Stormers boasted talents like Schalk Burger, Bryan Habana, and Gio Aplon. However, the Bulls had Victor Matfield, Fourie du Preez, and Morne Steyn. The latter sealed a third – and second successive Super Rugby title on that night in Soweto.

So, you can imagine the relief and ecstasy felt when Stormer’s centre, Damian Willemse, thumped the ball into the crowd to bring about the final whistle. Earning an 18-13 win and URC glory:

Believe it! The party continued late into the night in Cape Town. Here’s the party kicking off in the changing room:

 

And things didn’t end there. The Stormers brought the beautiful URC trophy all the way to our studios and gave us goosebumps with this rendition.

The Stormers and the Bulls will meet this weekend in a massive clash in Cape Town, as the United Rugby Championship (URC) will crown its first champions this coming Saturday, 18 July 2022. And a feather in the cap for South Africa. No matter what happens, the URC trophy will find a home in the Southern Hemisphere.

A shaky start

The South African franchises ran into some trouble in the first couple of rounds. According to pundits, our teams would have a write-off year and needed time to adjust. However, when the Springboks returned from international duty, the momentum shifted.

Home ground also held more of an advantage in this, the inaugural season. A large majority of players played in unfamiliar locations with a lesser familiarity with conditions. That was especially problematic for the teams that played in the Highveld for the first time.

But now, nine months on, the only two teams who remain standing in the URC are the Stormers and the Bulls.

Evan Roos on his way to score a try for the StormersNorth vs South

In North-South derbies, there is rarely much to separate the two sides. It’s always tough, and it’s always physical. Although the Stormers have a decent record against the Bulls in Cape Town, this Bulls team will give it everything they’ve got.

Jake White’s side runs deep in Bulls tradition. Not only do they have sleek attacking prowess, but they also have a massive engine room filled with big boys who like to get under your skin.

To combat that, the Stormers have a collective cool composure about them. There’s an element of maturity to John Dobson’s side.

There is, however, no love lost between these two old adversaries.

The Stormers pack getting ready to scrum against UlsterIt’s a rivalry that dates back to the early days of rugby history in South Africa. Cape Town vs Pretoria. Blue and White vs Baba-Blou. And it’s come down to this. Only one can lift the trophy and usher in a new chapter in South African rugby.

The Stormers have another 5-points in the bag after taking down the Cardiff Blues 40-3 in thier United Rugby Championship encounter at the Cape Town Stadium.

Points, Points and more Points

The Stormers need points, and they need all of them, out of every single game. Good thing they turned up in this URC meeting with Cardiff Blues. It’s been a long, gruelling first 80-minutes at the Cape Town stadium, with the sun still baking down on most of the parts of this beautiful ground. the heat clearly something Cardiff haven’t gotten used to.

The hits have been hard, with the clock stopped every so often. The hits were heard all along the ground, keeping some players from both sides on the floor. Still, those hits were not hard enough to blaze the Stormers’ flair. The first half tries were all well-deserved and the Stormers made full use of the half chances.

Ruhan Nel was the first the visit touch-in-goal, running a lovely supportive line and finishing off a basic two-on-one situation.

Liolin Saz showed real strength to fight through a couple of tackles to just dot the ball down on the line.

Manie Libbok put the first half to bed, receiving the ball in space and running in the 5-meters to get within one try of the bonus point.

A tougher second half

Like the game in Stellenbosch this past weekend, the Northern Hemisphere side seemed to come out of the break with a bit more fire in their belly. The first 15-minutes a grind for the Capetonians.

While the Stormers enjoyed the lions’ share of the possession in favourable areas of the field, they just couldn’t find the final touch. They would do all the hard work to get into the 22-area of Cardiff, just to lose the ball.

The Stormers finally added their first set of points 21-minutes into the second half. It Came from broken play as Deon Fourie executed a fantastic turnover, and fed a dangerous Stormers backline with the opposition defensive line in disarray.

Bonus point secured, and then some.

Evan Roos then scored a screamer of a solo try. Breaking through an attempted double tackle, before pinning his ears back to run in a 40-meter try.

The Stormers then started to run riot. Ricus Pretorious one-upped Evan Roos, running off some Seabelo Senatla magic, selling a beautiful dummy, and running in 50-meters to dot down next to the poles.

 

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