There were contrasting fortunes for both Orlando Pirates and the Stormers in their respective Cup finals on Saturday.
Pirates beat Sekhukhune United 2-1 in the Nedbank Cup final at Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria, while Stormers lost 19-14 to Irish giants Munster in the United Rugby Championship final match at Cape Town stadium.
Orlando Pirates had a sterling season, despite finishing second on the log a staggering sixteen points behind champions Mamelodi Sundowns. The Buccaneers won two silverware, the MTN8 and the Nedbank Cup, and also qualified for the prestigious CAF Champions League for finishing second on the log.
Pirates Coach Jose Riveiro gave credit to everyone involved in the club.
Riveiro says, “It’s a great season for all of us, for all technical staff, players and people involved. We are a big club with a lot of people working every day so I am so happy for them and credit to all of them.”
Pirates won the rare double, which was their first great season since they won the double treble in two seasons between 2010 and 2012.
Pirates captain Innocent Maela says it was a very good season for them.
Maela says, “It’s been a while since we celebrated two trophies in a season, and for me as the captain of the team what an honour and privilege, congratulations to the team, congratulations to our supporters, what an atmosphere, what a vibe and it’s time for us to celebrate.”
Pirates attacker Thembinkosi Lorch says his experience helped his team to win the match.
Lorch says, “It feels good, you know I think my experience played a big role in this final. I was injured, I missed four games and I was worried about my fitness.”
Sekhukhune United Coach Brandon Truter was proud of his team despite the loss in their maiden final in top-flight football.
Truter says, “We lost the ball in transition, we were out on a counterattack and it ended up in the back of the net. We learn from it. I am just so proud of the boys for getting us here and I am sure there will be more finals so well done.”
Orlando Pirates reflect on a successful season:
Stormers lost to Munster
In Rugby, Stormers lost to Irish giants Munster 19-14 at a sold-out Cape Town stadium. It was the second time the Irish inflicted defeat on the Stormers at home in this campaign.
Munster won their fourth URC title after losing in five finals. Stormers Coach John Dobson says they deserved to win.
“They deserved to win. I thought in the first half they were really magnificent, they contested every battle, in the first half they put defence under pressure, they got the passes away and in the second half I thought they were really good and they just stuck in.”
Stormers captain Steven Kitshoff apologises to the fans for disappointing them.
Kitshoff says, “I think Munster did really well tonight. They put us under pressure and scored some great tries. I just want to say thank you to all the supporters. They created a great atmosphere. We are sorry we disappointed everyone tonight.”
Stormers successfully failed to defend the title they won last year when they beat bitter rivals the Bulls also in Cape Town.
Congrats to @Munsterrugby and their travelling supporters on a great victory. Enjoy the celebrations and we hope to see you all back in Cape Town soon. #UnitedWeRise #iamastormer #dhldelivers pic.twitter.com/QBj1WYH5Ga
— DHL Stormers (@THESTORMERS) May 28, 2023
Story by: Vincent Sitsula