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Andre-Hugo Venter will cherish URC final victory forever

Andre-Hugo Venter of Stormers celebrates winning the Vodacom United Rugby Championship during the United Rugby Championship 2021/22 final against Bulls held at Cape Town Stadium

Andre-Hugo Venter of Stormers celebrates winning the Vodacom United Rugby Championship during the United Rugby Championship 2021/22 final against Bulls held at Cape Town Stadium in Cape Town, South Africa on 18 June 2022. Picture: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

Published Jun 24, 2022

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Cape Town - For Stormers hooker Andre-Hugo Venter, having his father at the United Rugby Championship final against the Bulls made their historic victory even sweeter.

Venter, the son of legendary Springbok Andre Venter, came off the bench for JJ Kotze and scored the Stormers’ second try. The Capetonians beat their fierce rivals 18-13 after trailing 7-3 at the break.

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Speaking during the trophy parade on Friday, Venter shared what a moment it was having his father at the decider, especially seeing as he hadn’t attended any of his most recent games prior to the quarter-final against Edinburgh at Cape Town Stadium due to the Covid interruption.

“It was really special having him there. He was actually at the last three games - the quarter, semis and final. Before this, the last time he watched a game of mine was a school game due to Covid.

“It was really nice having him there. Sharing that memory with him is something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life,” the 20-year-old front-rower said.

When speaking about his score, Venter credited his pack for laying the foundation for his maul try, while adding that it was special, nonetheless.

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“Everybody dreams of it. It was a maul try and as a hooker...it was a special try, but it was more the guys up front there who worked hard for that try, I just held the ball and fell over the (try) line. It was still a dream come true through.

Given the dark period the Stormers survived, it’s pretty hard to talk about their success without bringing in everything they overcame, and Venter described the feeling of lifting the first URC trophy as ‘unbelievable’.

“It is unbelievably special. Last year around October, November, December we didn’t think it was likely. Later, it became a reality and we started thinking ‘we can win this thing’. It’s unbelievable.”

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The Stormers took the trophy to the streets of Cape Town on Friday morning, with mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis, captain Steven Kitshoff and head coach John Dobson all addressing the crowd outside City Hall before taking the trophy on the open-top bus parade.

@WynonaLouw

IOL Sport

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