Brian O’Driscoll feels the Stormers will make news in the Champions Cup round 16 knockout round.
O’Driscoll has his sights set on Cape Town and the home of the Vodacom URC champions for the match of the round in the final 16 of the Champions Cup, where all eight Vodacom United Rugby Championship clubs have advanced from the pool stages.
“It’s fantastic to see South African teams advance to the knockout stages in their inaugural year. The Stormers versus the Harlequins has all the makings of a fantastic match. Both of them like playing rugby. On paper, this may be the matchup for the last 16,” O’Driscoll said.
“The Stormers have a tremendous power game, with multiple advantage line players and numerous quick-footed backs. They can play a game with a great deal of variety. They will be an extremely difficult team to defeat in Cape Town on the fast track there. They are scoring numerous excellent tries.”
In contrast to the widespread belief that URC leaders Leinster will win the Champions Cup, O’Driscoll hedged his bets when asked to name his favorites to be crowned European champions.
“Out of La Rochelle, Toulouse, and Leinster, I see Leinster as the victor,” stated the legendary Ireland and British & Irish Lions player. “I am wary of La Rochelle at all times. They are simply going about their work.”
Leinster clinched first place in Pool A with a 36-10 victory over Racing 92 in front of a crowd of more than 40,000 at the Aviva Stadium. The result gave Leinster 16 wins from 16 matches in all competitions this season. However, they trailed at one point, and O’Driscoll did observe flashes of weakness from his former squad.
O’Driscoll stated, “You thought who is going to challenge them, but then they looked human, and again it was against one of the most powerful teams in Europe.” “If you’re searching for an Achilles’ heel, where they’ve faltered in the past, it’s been against formidable opponents like Saracens and La Rochelle. Likewise, they struggled against Toulouse.
“They will undoubtedly need to improve their defensive maul. There has been a small amount of weakness there. They must maintain discipline so that opponents cannot kick into the five-meter channel and maul them.
O’Driscoll stated, “You must bring your power game against Leinster, stop them in the collision zone, and slow their ruck ball.”