Head coach Graham Rowntree believes that Munster will emerge victorious when they clash with the DHL Stormers in the Vodacom URC final in Cape Town next week.
Following a tough battle in the second URC semi-final of this past weekend, where Munster trailed 10-6 at half time against Leinster, Rowntree’s charges showcased their resilience and emerged triumphant with a 16-15 win in Dublin.
This victory not only secured their maiden spot in the finale of the competition, but also set the stage for a titanic rematch against the defending champions, who had previously enjoyed a 19-game unbeaten run at Cape Town Stadium before Munster halted their momentum on 15 April.
The Irish visitors delivered an impressive performance, overcoming a deadlock to secure a thrilling 26-24 victory. Their triumph not only marked the first defeat the Stormers had suffered on their home ground since December 2021 but also emphasised Munster’s exceptional capabilities.
And riding on their recent triumph against Leinster at the Aviva Stadium, Rowntree’s confidence is at an all-time high as he prepares his squad for another electrifying showdown in the shadow of Table Mountain.
Speaking after Saturday’s victory in the Irish capital, he reflected on the challenges Munster have faced in recent weeks, and praised his team’s determination: “We go to Cape Town with belief. This group won’t give in, and we have come through some fires in the last few weeks.”
It is clear that Munster has grown stronger from their experiences, and Rowntree added: “Our game is still growing. We are finding out about people. Peter [O’Mahony] spoke really well in the dressing room about this not being our final [on Saturday night].
“I said to the group in the week that 25 days ago we were paranoid about [our chances of] European qualification but then we got to a semi-final, and now we are in a final.”
Despite missing key players such as lock RG Snyman, centre Malakai Fekitoa, and scrumhalf Conor Murray against Leinster, Munster displayed remarkable depth and adaptability. The return of the trio, who played pivotal roles previously against the Stormers, is expected to bolster the Red Army even further.
Inspirational captain O’Mahony and lock Jean Kleyn, who encountered minor injury setbacks against Leinster, are also anticipated to be fit and make their mark in the final, further fortifying Munster’s lineup.
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