Champions Cup: London Irish’s Matt Rogerson sees positives from Stormers loss

London Irish skipper Matt Rogerson was disappointed to lose to the Stormers in Cape Town but still feels as though there are positives to take from their 34-14 defeat in the Champions Cup.

The Premiership team defended well in the first half and would have been happy going into the break only 10 points down before putting on a late show that could have stolen the game on a different night.

However, it ended with a bonus point for the Stormers, who crashed over for their fourth try in the 82nd minute courtesy of substitute Junior Pokomela.


“I think there was a lot of good stuff in there,” Rogerson told BT Sport.

“I think first half we defended pretty valiantly, to go in 10-0 at half-time we had to defend a lot, I think we only had 30 per cent possession in that first half.

“The lads worked really hard to keep ourselves in the game, and a few chances at the end…it could have been a different result for us tonight.

“Coming over to South Africa to face the Stormers, we expect a physical contest, especially up front, scrum, mauling. So we knew we had to up it there, and I think for large parts of the game we did match the Stormers. We were just disappointed to come up short.

“I think with this group, we’re a group that say we never give up and you can see that from the fight to the very end there.

“The lads fought valiantly throughout the game and some chances went begging, it could potentially have been a different result if we had executed some of those.”

Stormers up and running

The United Rugby Championship winners put together some beautiful tries in their first Champions Cup win as Willie Engelbrecht, Hacjivah Dayimani, and Leolin Zas all crossed for tries before Pokomela sealed the bonus point.

The Stormers, however, looked shaky in the latter stages and left the door open to London Irish before their late bonus point try.

“The boys did really well, and scoring a bonus-point try in the 82nd minute was very well done,” Stormers skipper Steven Kitshoff said.

“I think there was a bit of a lapse of concentration where we started feeling a bit nervy, but a lot of credit to the boys.

“I thought there was a lot of physicality, a big set-piece battle, and it was a good quality game of rugby. I’ve got a lot of respect for them, the way they came to Cape Town and put up a massive fight.”

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