While the Vodacom Bulls came in with the best Super Rugby and Currie Cup credentials of the four elite franchises that joined the inaugural BKT URC 2021/22 season, it's been the DHL Stormers who have set the standard.

Later today they aim to make it back-to-back titles and join Leinster as the only team to retain the title, having prevailed over the Bulls in last season's finale.

The Cape Town-based side finished second in the regular season standings in their first campaign, winning 12, drawing twice and losing four games.

They were on target to again finish behind Leinster this season until a surprise loss, their first defeat at home for 17 months, to Munster (26-24) in the penultimate round, scuppered their chances with Ulster pipping them to second place.

It meant they finished up with an identical league record for the second season running, winning 12, drawing two and losing four times.

Their overall record against Irish teams over the two seasons comes in at played 10, won five, lost four and drawn one, with Munster the only side they haven’t beaten.

This will be the third meeting of the teams with Munster winning both games, the first clash was in Thomond Park in October 2021 with the hosts running out 34-18 victors.

But it’s their play-off record that stands out and demonstrates a ruthlessness that Munster will have to overcome today if they want to get their hands on a first trophy since 2011’s Celtic League.

They beat Glasgow (28-17) and Ulster (17-15) in their run to the final last year where they overcame the Bulls (18-13).

Again this season they’ve had a home run to the decider with wins over the Bulls (33-21) and Connacht (43-25) paving the wave to today’s match-up.

"It’s nice to have that feeling of knowing that you’ve been here before so we feel we are in a good position," said forwards coach Rito Hlungwani about their post-season record and build-up to another home final, which will be played in front of a 55,000 sell-out crowd.

The Stormers have used almost 60 players to get to this point and a recent headline in the Afrikaans Sunday newspaper Rapport headlined the semi-final win against Connacht as the work of 'artists and streetfighters’, a compliment that applies to many successful rugby teams.

The Stormers have averaged the fewest carries per 80 minutes in the league this season at just 89.7.

However, their try-scoring rate in the opposition 22 is a league-high 41%

The Stormers beat Connacht in the semi-final

A topical question posed to Hlungwani about lessons to be learned from heavy favourites Leinster’s semi-final and final home losses in the URC and Champions Cup was calmly batted away.

"It’s a tricky question to answer," he said.

"Both teams have prepared, I guess, from different perspectives.

"On the day you’ve got to execute the plan and make sure your team understands it and execute it against what the opposition has prepared against you. That’s pretty much the lesson I’ve tried to take from that.

Steven Kitshoff gets tackled by Gavin Coombes

Out-half Manie Libbok, who was almost unplayable in their win over Connacht two weeks ago, was named the fans' player of the season, while prop Steven Kitshoff, who moves to Ulster next season, and centre Daniel du Plessis were both on the URC team of the year.

Gavin Coombes was the sole Munster representative.

"It is a final so there's no Monday for us," said scrum-half Herschel Jantjies.

"We can’t come back and say we maybe should have done this, we could have done this. This is it, it’s a big one. We have one chance so it’s a big game and the focus is to get it right."

Listen to the RTÉ Rugby podcast on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

Follow Stormers v Munster in the United Rugby Championship Grand Final with our live blog on the RTÉ News app or RTÉ.ie/Sport.

Listen to live commentary on Saturday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1, with kick-off at 5.30pm.