Dobson: Stormers aim to go from ‘write-offs’ to ‘champions’

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As it stands, the Stormers will be crowned inaugural United Rugby Championship (URC) winners next weekend – if bookmakers are be believed.

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The Cape side will host the Bulls in an all-South African final at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday, 18 June.

Kick-off is at 19:30.

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The Stormers booked their place in the final after beating Irish side Ulster 17-15 deep into injury-time on Saturday, while the Bulls shocked another Irish side, Leinster27-26 in their semi-final in Dublin last Friday.

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Leading South African bookmakers Hollywoodbets have installed the Stormers as 7/10 favourites to lift the trophy, while the Bulls can be backed at 12/10.

The draw after 80 minutes is on offer at 20/1.

As highlighted by Stormers coach John Dobson, the fact that the home side is seen as marginal favourites for the title decider is made all the more remarkable by the fact that they were largely written off early on in the season.

The coach said the journey of the team was in fact metaphorically like climbing Mount Everest, and he reiterated that they must not fall short of the summit at this late stage.

“The Stormers were complete write-offs. Before the competition started, we were 100-1 to win it and, after the first week, we were 88-1 and the Bulls were 14-1,” Dobson commented.

“The Bulls winning the semi-final at Leinster definitely added pressure on us to beat Ulster in the semi-final. When the Bulls won, I messaged the management team and said, ‘This just got serious.’ I think we would have undone a lot of the good we had done this season if the Bulls reached the final and we didn’t get there to meet them.”

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There is expected to be a sell-out crowd for the Stormers-Bulls final

For interest’s sake, the Stormers beat the Bulls both home and away during the pool / league stage of the tournament.

John Dobson’s men got the better of Jake White’s charges 30-26 at Loftus Versfeld on 22 January and then won 19-17 at the Cape Town Stadium on 9 April.

Can the Stormers complete a ‘hat-trick’ of wins over their bitter rivals or will the Bulls emerge victorious?

Let us know – and go place your bets!



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