Only way is up for Stormers

Tue, 25 Feb 2014 14:58
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Following their horror start to the season at Ellis Park last week, Stormers captain Jean de Villiers is expecting a major response from his side.

Following their horror start to the season at Ellis Park last week, Stormers captain Jean de Villiers is expecting a major response from his side at Newlands on Friday.

De Villiers was furious with the way his charges capitulated against the Lions last week, and he admitted that there were some harsh words said behind closed doors when they reflected on what went wrong against the Lions.

"We had a bit of a heart-to-heart yesterday, and we were hard with the video session and the guys took responsibility. It was nice to see how the guys responded because it is a short week and a short turnaround," he said.

The Stormers skipper revealed that watching the replay of their 34-10 defeat made the team realise just how many chances they let slip as they tried to fight their way back into the game after an opening blitz from the Lions and their dead-eye kicker Marnitz Boshoff.

"It was frustrating playing on Saturday, but going through the replay and seeing how many opportunities we did have and how many turnovers we gave them that might have actually been more disappointing and frustrating.

"Add to that the handling errors that we made, the turnovers that we gave them and that caused the result, the worst result in seven years for this team," he said.

The Cape side are viewing their clash with the Hurricanes this weekend as a chance to redeem themselves and show that they have learned from their experience in Johannesburg before they go on a demanding Australasian tour.

"It is nice to play at Newlands, we find comfort in the fact that we play there, but by no means do we think that the stadium will win us the game. If you don't rock up, like we did on Saturday, then you will get punished again and that is just the brutality of this competition.

"It is time to redeem ourselves and the only way to do that is by putting up a good performance, we are excited about the challenge and we also know where we went wrong on Saturday," he said.

The experienced centre said that the key will be to put the disappointment of last week behind them and focus on approaching the game against the Hurricanes with the right attitude.

"In professional sport things happen, at certain times the cohesion and synergy is there and other times you feel like 15 strangers playing together and you won't know why.

"All we can do is prepare well as we have been, go into the game with the right attitude and mindset and hopefully get it right.

"It is a learning curve as much as a pressure game and I am sure that the guys will stand up and be counted," he said.

By Michael de Vries
 

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