United Rugby Championship

Stormers want 'no regrets' after Scarlets clash for home URC playoff pursuit

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Rito Hlungwani. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)
Rito Hlungwani. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)
  • The Stormers want to leave Parc y Scarlets with "no regrets" in their hot pursuit for a home URC playoff berth.
  • The Capetonians are in for a neck-and-neck finish with the Sharks for who will top the SA Shield.
  • Deon Fourie says they've not had to adjust to higher expectations as they believed they could do well from the start.

Stormers assistant coach Rito Hlungwani says they want no regrets at the end of their match-up with Llanelli Scarlets, which, by winning with a bonus point, would ensure they finish the United Rugby Championship (URC) standings in a home playoff position.

The Capetonians could also finish higher than their current fourth position depending on the Sharks (versus Ulster on Friday) and Munster (versus Leinster on Saturday) results.

Scarlets lie 10th on the URC table and will look to avenge some chastening defeats to South African sides when they toured here in March - 57-12 to the Bulls and 37-20 to the Sharks - now that they hold home court.

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But Hlungwani, whose team narrowly beat a weakened Leinster in Cape Town last time out, says they are focused on executing well no matter the Sharks-Ulster result from the night before.

"We are preparing to come out of that field and have no regrets, to make sure we give everything and execute everything that we trained," Hlungwani says.

"Regardless of those results go whichever way, we want to control the things we can. It is maybe a bit of a benefit that we'll play after the [Sharks] but the main focus is making sure that we improve on our last game.

"And if we come out of the field feeling like we've improved or executed well, we'll be very happy."

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The Stormers are working under adjusted expectations at this juncture after surprising many by being one of the standout South African URC teams.

They could also win the SA Shield should the Sharks slip up. The two coastal sides are separated by 10-versus-8 bonus log points after being tied on 56 points and 148 points difference.

Veteran flank Deon Fourie says they've held belief that they could pull off this kind of season all along: 11 wins, two draws and just four losses, the least defeats in the URC so far.

"I think the team always had belief from the start of the season that we are a good squad with good players," Fourie says.

"If we pulled together, we believed that we would get the wins if we played like how we're playing. Now we're sitting here talking about winning the Shield.

"If we'd spoken at the beginning of the season, that wouldn't even be a question from you guys. So, it's part of the game.

"As soon as you do better, the pressure starts building. Luckily, the guys are managing it well and taking it game-to-game, trying to improve in every game.

"As long as each player does his job, the rest will just fall into place."

The Stormers leave for London on Monday afternoon before heading to Swansea in Wales, where they'll be based until Saturday's clash at Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli.

Kick-off is at 18:10. 

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Sat 16 Apr 22 18:35 PM (SAST)
Llanelli Scarlets
Parc y Scarlets, TBC
Fri 22 Apr 22 16:30 PM (SAST)
Glasgow Warriors
DHL Stadium, Cape Town
Fri 22 Apr 22 18:35 PM (SAST)
Kingspan Stadium, TBC
Sat 11 Jun 22
Stormers 17
Ulster 15
Fri 10 Jun 22
Leinster 26
Vodacom Bulls
Vodacom Bulls 27
Sat 04 Jun 22
Stormers 28
Edinburgh 17
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1. Leinster Rugby
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2. Stormers
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3. Ulster Rugby
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4. Bulls