Time for talking is over – Stormers




As the investigation, by the high-profile delegation, into the poor performances of the Stormers got underway in Sydney on Monday, the team’s captain Luke Watson said the time for talking is over.

Nick Mallett, the Director of Rugby at the Western Province Rugby Union (WPRU), and Rob Wagner, the Managing Director of WP (Pty) Ltd (the commercial arm of WPRU), on Monday conducted a series of “one-on-one” interviews with senior players and the coaching staff in Sydney.

They will attend the two training sessions of the team on Tuesday, before heading back to Cape Town on Wednesday. They are expected to report their “findings” to the board of the Stormers by Friday.

No details of the discussions were available and it is expected that a statement would be released after the investigation had been completed.

But the players are keen to get on with a game and their preparations for their next assignment on a tough Australasian tour.
The Stormers face the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday.

Watson said there are “some positives” to take out of a season which have yielded just two wins in six starts.

“The positives we can take from the season so far is that when we do put things together, we have the ability to beat any team. But unfortunately that statement is worth nothing unless we are doing it,” he told this website.

“We have got the talent, we have got the ability, but at the same time we can’t just talk about it …we have to do something more than just talk about it.”

Like coach Kobus van der Merwe the captain also spoke about the lack of consistency the team has shown this season.

“We have had a few performances where it’s gone our way and we’ve had patches where it’s gone brilliantly, but consistency this season has been dismal. We have not managed to maintain any consistency,” Watson said.

He said it was “very difficult” to pinpoint exactly why the team is solid the one week and woeful the next.

“The combinations are working at times, and at times they aren’t working. It is something we have to work on, we have the ability, we need to work on the consistency.”

Watson felt that while there have been certain “external” factors that affected the team’s performances, it is up to the players to put matters right on the field.

“At the moment there are a lot of questions being asked and a lot of fingers being pointed. But on the field, that is where we [the players] have to answer for it.

“There are always off the field factors, there are always issues that affect the team’s performance on the field. But for us at the moment, we have to make sure that we’re 100 percent focused on the field and to try and maintain that consistency.”

The Stormers captain sees the upcoming fixture, against the Waratahs, as an opportunity for the team to take a step in the right direction in their quest to turn their season around.

“Against the Hurricanes we showed a glimpse of what we are capable of when things go our way. We do still have a self belief and we have the confidence in the players’ abilities.

“We can turn it around any weekend and this weekend is an opportunity for us to keep building and carry on developing and getting our game error free.”

Watson also reflected on the fact that the Stormers seem to have fallen back on an old disease of “one week good, one week bad”.

“We actually joked about it, that we’ve got a season of one good weekend and one bad weekend. We had a bum weekend last week, so now it’s time for a good weekend again,” he said of the upcoming encounter with the Waratahs.

“But the Waratahs are in a similar situation. They’ve got a few youngsters coming through, there’s the [Lote] Tuqiri [contractual] issues and they haven’t been performing as consistently as they would like to.

“They are in a similar boat as us, but we are looking to target this game and we believe we really have the ability to take this one.”

By Jan de Koning 365 Digital 

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