United Rugby Championship: The Stormers’ never-ending quest to get better

Lawrence Nolan

Stormers coaching duo John Dobson and Rito Hlungwani have continued to beat the drum of continual improvement and honesty as their cultural backbone.

The Capetonians host Ulster in the United Rugby Championship semi-finals on Saturday, having only just beaten a quasi-shadow Ulster side earlier in the competition as a part of a long run of undefeated matches which has brought them within touching distance of the final.

Long season

It has not been an easy ride, with the defeat in Connacht a real low point, but the team has pulled together and, as Hlungwani explained, been relentless in its quest for improvement.

“If we seek improvement every weekend the outcome looks after itself. We just want to keep getting better‚” Hlungwani said to a press conference excited at the prospect of the team getting to its first major final in 12 years.

The locals are excited, while the coaches and team are keen to put on a better show than the last time Ulster were in town, where the Stormers narrowly escaped defeat courtesy of some highly-debatable TMO decisions.

“There were things we didn’t do well,” said Hlungwani of the Ulster game.

“There were things we also did well. There are things that we have improved. We weren’t at our best.

“There will always be a set-piece battle against Ulster‚ probably more than with any other team in the competition. They have a good scrum and it is something we are quite aware of. We are anticipating a huge battle up front.

“They also have very good contestable kicks. And We need to stop their mauls.

“But it is always nice to play at home. We’ve had a couple of wins in a row at home. We are nice and familiar with Cape Town Stadium now. We love the environment and we love having the fans up there.

“That has given us a little extra motivation. At the end of the day whether we play at home or away we still need to execute our plan.”

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