Connacht want to score tries, but will be ready for a dogfight against the Stormers

Mack Hansen in action against the Stormers at the Danie Craven Stadium in September last year.

Mack Hansen in action against the Stormers at the Danie Craven Stadium in September last year. Picture: Ryan Wilkisky BackpagePix

Published May 10, 2023


Cape Town - If the Stormers think their semi-final opponents Connacht will just roll over for them, they have another thing coming.

This was the warning of the Irish club's Australian wing Mack Hansen to their hosts in the build-up to the United Rugby Championship semi at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday (4.00pm kickoff).

After a hard-fought, impressive win over fellow Irish team Ulster, the side from Galway will rock up in Cape Town, full of plans to topple another one of the top URC teams.

And what an upset will it not be to boot the defending champions out of the tournament for an all-Irish final.

Hansen said they will “chill out” and prepare accordingly for what the Stormers can bring on the day, but they can't necessarily count on momentum from the Ulster game.

"They are the team, there's no two ways about it," Hansen said.

"Especially in Cape Town, losing one game is quality. But it's semi-final time and anything can happen, we showed that last week. We are going there to do a job, we will not just lay down and take it from them.

“I'd say they are probably feeling pretty comfortable, thinking they'll go well, which is perfect. They can keep thinking that.”

Connacht won seven of their last eight matches in the URC and that alone should send a warning to the Stormers. This after the Irish club started the season poorly, losing three matches in a row.

Their first loss was against the Cape side in Stellenbosch in September last year, and it ended in a 38-15 drubbing after centre Bundee Aki was red-carded for a dangerous cleanout on Stormers wing Seabelo Senatla.

Before the sending off, though, things were in the balance as Connacht scored a try, that was disallowed because of the red card, that would've brought them back into the contest.

And although they did not score any tries against Ulster in the quarter-finals, they want to find the tryline again in the semis.

“Finals footy is just different. They seem to be harder-fought games. We know exactly what we have to work on. If it does head into the same game as the last one, we showed what we can do,” Hansen said.

"We are fine with a dogfight as well. I know they are big men. But we don't care. Whatever comes our way, we will play that sort of game to get the W."


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