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Beating Leinster will be one giant step towards United Rugby Championship glory for the Stormers

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Cape Town – Toppling Leinster in Ireland on Friday could be a massive mental hurdle to overcome for the Stormers, should they have to return to Dublin later this year to face the Irish team in a possible final.

That’s why a full-strength Stormers team will pitch up for the match at the RDS Arena (9:35pm kickoff) against the Irish powerhouse team.

For the Stormers, a victory will keep their hopes alive of finishing second on the United Rugby Championship standings, but only a few log points from the match will keep them ahead of a chasing Ulster as well.

Stormers lock Ruben van Heerden said this week, though, that they are not in Ireland to collect a couple of log points, but to push for a victory.

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He believes getting a win over Leinster could be valuable to the side later on in the playoffs if they are to meet again.

“The possibility of them (Leinster) finishing first and then winning all their playoff matches and hosting the final, it’s very strong,” he said.

“But things are so unpredictable. If you look at last year with the Bulls, I mean. I don’t know what the bookies were saying, but I don’t think they were backing the Bulls to come and beat Leinster at home.

“What can happen down the line, it’s so unpredictable. So we just want to focus on ourselves. We have three games left in the URC and we want to win all of them.

“We don’t come to Leinster to lose or pick up one or two points, we want to win this game. From a mental side, if we can put down a marker and beat Leinster at the RDS, it could stand us in good stead if the final is to be played here.”

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The Stormers had a long trip to Dublin via Doha but luckily for Van Heerden and the other big units in the squad, they did not have a long layover this time around.

Van Heerden was also the recipient of a seat swap for bigger leg space thanks to the Stormers’ technical analyst Human Kriek. The lock joked that he owes Kriek a coffee or beer for his gesture.

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“It was a nasty flight, but at least we did not have a long stopover. We did not fly business class but I got one of our coaches, Human Kriek’s seat on the first flight from Cape Town, he had a bit more legroom,” Van Heerden said.

“So I need to get him a coffee or Guinness to say thank you.”


IOL Sport

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