Storming Brits on the search



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Stormers hooker Schalk Brits is searching for that which has eluded his side all year so far. The Stormers have won games; they have scored good tries, and put in some good performances but something crucial to their cause remains absent.

The missing ingredient is consistency. Indeed they have not won two games in a row in 2007.

“I don’t know what it is, we have just been blowing hot and cold a bit this year.

“On our day, we can beat any team in the competition, but the differnece between us and sides like the Crusaders and the Blues is that they are able to put in those match-winning performance Saturday after Saturday.”

Brits said, however, that his side had been reasonably happy with the win last Saturday over the Lions.

“We are quite happy, but there is room for improvement. It is good to start the final stretch with a win.”

One of the facets of play that did impress some Stormers’ critics was upfront in the front row.

Many expected the Lions to dominate in this department, but the Stormers held firm.

“The whole pack did well on Saturday, but in the front row, we are still not satisfied. We are a young front row, and we are still going to get better.”

The Stormers have always been stung with criticsm of their pack, but Brits says he tends not to take notice.

“We know what we are capable of; we just go out there, do what the coach asks of us, and try to give our backs some quality ball.”

After Saturday’s win, the Stormers suddenly find themselves within long-range contention of the fourth play-offs spot. Many have written off their hopes, but if one takes a closer look at the log and the upcoming fixtures, it is not as great an impossibility as it seems. If the Stormers finally manage to string together a series of wins – four of them would be just fine – they may surprise us.

Since a tough start to the tournament where they only won one of their first three games in South Africa, the Stormers have been flying under the radar.

But they didn’t have a bad tour, and should really have won their first match against the Highlanders which would have given them three total victories on their travels – this would have made thier tour the most successful South African tour of all time.

Brits agrees that the play-offs have not exited the players’ minds completely.

“In the bigger picture, yes, we badly want to make the play-offs.

“But all that we can do is take it game by game.”

A return from a long tour has given Brits some fuel for reflection.

“It has been a fantastic year amongs the team this year. The spirit under Luke Watson has been great, and we can’t wait to get out on the pitch every weekend.”

This is especially true of this weekend, where the Stormers travel to Pretoria to face traditional foes the Bulls.

“I am very excited for the game. It will be a good measure for our pack.”

With the Stormers ready to breathe fire, and the Bulls hungry for a third straight semi-final appearance, Saturday’s derby is promising us fireworks.


365 Digital

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