James Crombie/INPHO Stormers coach John Dobson and captain Steven Kitshoff.
URC Final
'I’m disappointed that the video got out, and we probably let Joseph down there'
Stormers coach John Dobson says clip was ‘never a slight on Munster’.

STORMERS COACH JOHN Dobson believes the leaked video of his side celebrating Munster’s win over Leinster may add to the level of niggle in today’s final at Cape Town Stadium.

It’s been two weeks since the Stormers and Munster qualified for the URC final. Following the second semi-final in Dublin, a video showing the Stormers’ celebrations – and hooker Joseph Dweba shouting “We’re gonna fuck them up!” – was posted to social media.

On the day before the final, both head coaches were asked whether Munster would take any extra motivation from what Dweba said.

Munster boss Graham Rowntree played down the incident. “It’s just a team celebrating getting a home final,” he said.

Dobson was more upset by the fact that the video – which was captured at a private function – had been leaked.

“I’m disappointed that the video got out, and we probably let Joseph down there. It was never a case of us celebrating against Munster . . . it was a case of us celebrating playing a final at home. It was never a slight against Munster.

“We’ve never beaten Munster,” Dobson continued. “They gave us a hiding in Limerick [in the first URC season] and then beat us here this past April.

“I heard that 5,000 people are flying over from Ireland to watch Munster this weekend. That’s brilliant. I don’t think you’d get that in [the old version of] Super Rugby. That is proper.”

Nevertheless, tempers could flare on the pitch this Saturday.

“There will be an element of that . . . of them trying to get under our skin,” said Dobson. “Discipline is going to be so important. There’s always going to be niggle in a game like this, and the video [of Dweba and co celebrating] won’t help. If we react to that niggle, it will be rugby suicide tomorrow.”

Munster captain Peter O’Mahony praised the travelling fans for coming through to South Africa and offering their support.

“It’s broken-record stuff, but we’ve been taken back by the turnout of supporters,” the Ireland flanker said.

“It’s a long way to come, but it feels like every time we turn the corner, we bump into someone from Cork or Limerick. We’re spoiled with the level of support we’ve experienced.”

The home side will enjoy the majority of the support in the 55,000-seater stadium on Saturday.

“We’re desperate to win tomorrow,” said Dobson. “It would feel really hollow to say we achieved our goal to qualify for the final and to get the city of Cape Town smiling, and then we fall short [of winning it].

“We don’t want to let these people down. You can see what it means to them, when you walk around the city and see everyone in their blue jerseys.”

Only 30,000 fans attended last season’s final between the Stormers and Bulls at Cape Town Stadium due to Covid-19 restrictions. The decider between the Stormers and Munster will play out in front of capacity crowd.

“I took umbrage when I heard someone say that the tickets were sold for €3 each just to ensure the stadium was filled,” Dobson said. “I’m telling you, they could have sold the tickets for R1000 each [almost €50] and you would have sold the stadium out five times over – but then the [demographics] of the stadium would have been very different.”

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