If the Stormers want to lift the United Rugby Championship (URC) trophy they must find a way to tame towering Munster lock RG Snyman in Saturday’s final, loose forward Deon Fourie says.
After missing the Stormers’ semifinal win over Connacht with a hamstring injury, Fourie will have a key role to play in front of a sell-out 55,000 crowd at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday (kickoff 6.30pm). His tigerish efforts earned him the man of the match award when the Stormers beat the Bulls in the 2022 final at the same venue.
“I am also looking forward to coming up against RG Snyman,” Fourie said. “He is a massive human being and his offload and running game is outstanding. For us to stop that will be a challenge. What he brings to that Munster side is an element of unpredictability.
“I missed out on Munster this year and last year I missed a game when we played them over at Thomond Park after I broke my cheekbone. So I haven’t played Munster yet and am looking forward to testing myself against a quality side like them. I think their record speaks for itself, especially this year.”
Fourie is relishing a duel with Munster captain and seasoned Ireland international Peter O’Mahony.
“Peter O’Mahony is a fantastic player. He has been playing for Ireland for a long time. I don’t really see him as an out-and-out fetcher like Jack Morgan from last year. O’Mahony is just a nuisance at every ruck and sometimes he’ll get that poach, but he’s always just there and in your face and disrupting rucks. So that’ll be a nice challenge, trying to contain him.”
Stormers assistant coach Rito Hlungwani said Snyman would be a threat to his team’s hopes of URC glory.
“We will be keeping tabs on how we want to impose our game against them,” he said. “Snyman is a very decent player. He is a Springbok and a guy who is highly respected around the world.
“If I was to point out one thing that he does well, he is a tall guy and through contact he is able to offload the ball pretty well. We respect him, we know his strengths and we will be ready to see if we can nullify him come Saturday.
“It does happen now and then when you lose one or two line-outs. I wouldn’t say it is a system thing because we have gone deep into the season. There were times where we have done well and there were times where we sort of struggled a bit.”
Stormers head coach John Dobson said playing at home in front of their fanatical supporters would give his team a big boost.
“It has been one hell of a ride,” he said. “It has been one lesson after the other but there have been so many victories, internally and on the field, along the way. The reward has been there for us as a coaching and management team because of the efforts of these players."
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