Match Preview | DHL Stormers
Glasgow Warriors kickstart a pivotal United Rugby Championship double-header in South Africa this weekend, as Danny Wilson’s men head to Cape Town for a clash with the DHL Stormers.
It’s a first visit to the Rainbow Nation since 2019 for the Scotstoun outfit, with the race for the URC playoffs reaching fever pitch across the competition.
A confident 27-17 victory over Newcastle Falcons last time out sent the Warriors to South Africa in the best possible form, booking their place in the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup in the process.
Yet with the Stormers snapping at the heels of the top-four amidst a late season charge, Wilson’s squad will know they need to be on top form on Friday evening.
Here’s how the match is shaping up:
This will be the first meeting between the two teams in the professional history of both sides, the second of three successive ‘first-times’ for Glasgow Warriors.
The Stormers have made their home something of a fortress during the 2021/22 campaign to date, coming into the fixture off the back of six successive home victories in the competition.
John Dobson’s squad currently sit fifth in the URC standings, just three points behind the third-placed Warriors going into round 16 of the competition.
Ones to watch
The electric form of Leolin Zas has lit up the URC to date this campaign, with the winger having provided plenty of highlight-reel moments in the 2021/22 season. His tally of nine tries is more than anyone else in the URC, whilst also sitting third for clean breaks with 16.
Pulling the strings at fly-half, Manie Libok has been an integral part of the Stormers charge up the standings in recent weeks. The top points-scorer in the competition with 127, the 24-year-old’s composure and game management have seen him tipped for a call-up to the South Africa squad sooner rather than later.
Similar to Libok, the form of Evan Roos this season has made him one of the most highly-touted prospects in South African rugby circles. Only Jack Dempsey and Scarlets number eight Sione Kalamafoni have carried more ball than the back-rower, who provides an explosive presence both with and without the ball.
Whilst it’ll be the first time Glasgow Warriors as a team have faced off against the Stormers, one Warrior in particular will have fond memories of his previous clash with the men from Cape Town.
A 49-3 win for the British and Irish Lions over the Stormers back in July 2021 saw Zander Fagerson barge over from close range for his first try in the famous red jersey, the fifth of seven scores for the tourists.
Club-mate Ali Price was also involved in the match, starting at scrum-half en route to his three Test caps in Lions colours.
The experienced figure of Andrew Brace will be the referee for Friday evening’s clash, with the Irish official taking charge of his 76th match in the URC.
AJ Jacobs and Griffin Colby will be his assistants, alongside Marius van der Westhuizen as the Television Match Official.
The match is live on Premier Sports 1 and urc.tv this weekend, with kick-off scheduled for 5.30pm UK time.
You can also follow all the action in our Live Match Centre, bringing you all the updates as they happen from Cape Town.