Stormers target full points in Champions Cup against Clermont » Cypher9ja

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The Stormers are targeting a full house of points in their final Champions Cup pool match against Clermont at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday night (kick-off 7:30pm), as they hunt a home play-off place in the competition knock-outs.

The home side only needs one point from the game to qualify for the last 16, but need a win, possibly with a bonus point, to seal a spot in the top four in their pool which will guarantee them a home play-off.

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Coach John Dobson admitted that the difficult travel logistics that the South African sides face would be a major detriment to them if they had to fly overseas for their last 16 clash.

“It’s critical. Playing a last 16 match and having to go on one of these flights away to a top-ranked team, because we finished seventh or eighth, is going to probably be beyond our capability. That’s when you have to make a decision, either that or URC,” explained Dobson.

“We are eager for a home play-off for three reasons. One is that I think we have a good chance of winning home play-offs in these conditions, our home record being what it is.

“Secondly is in terms of revenue. A home last 16 and quarter-final would be two great occasions. The third thing is just for the people of Cape Town. We haven’t played a lot of home games. For us to be near the top of the table hosting a quarter-final would be magic.”

Struggling Clermont

The French visitors are in a bit of disarray at the moment, as they are having a difficult Top 14 campaign and have won just one of their last five games, which led to them sacking coach Jono Gibbes earlier this week and replacing him with Christophe Urios.

But despite their struggles they beat the Stormers in their home clash last month, and Dobson knows the threat they still pose.

“There’s nothing more dangerous than a French team that has changed their coach. Look, if you watch their last game against Leicester, it was a really tight, tough game of rugby. We also had a tough time in the second half in Clermont,” said Dobson.

“In terms of what they will bring, we have done quite a bit of analysis. Their counter-attacking play is something that we picked up on. If they get on top of you, those French ball-carriers are mean. They are huge and when they are on top, it’s difficult to get back in.”

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