DHL Stormers captain Steven Kitshoff says that he is excited to be part of ‘something special’ as his team head towards the Vodacom United Rugby Championship play-offs.
The DHL Stormers secured their place in both the play-offs and the European Champions Cup next season when they claimed a hard-fought 20-13 victory against Leinster at DHL Stadium.
It was their eighth consecutive home win, which also puts them in fourth place on the overall standings heading into the final round of the league phase of the season.
They face Scarlets in Llanelli on Saturday May 21, with a win in that game enough to guarantee them at least a home quarterfinal at DHL Stadium.
Kitshoff was full of praise for his teammates, who have worked incredibly hard to put themselves in this position.
“This team has shown great maturity to stand up in tough times when everyone seemed to be writing us off.
“So to come through and put up performances week-in and week-out to go seven games unbeaten is a credit to this group of players, coaches and management who stood up. So I’m extremely proud and happy to be part of something special,” he said.
The DHL Stormers skipper said that his team was not satisfied with their performance against Leinster, even thought they secured a win against the log-leaders, which shows just how high their standards are.
“Even though we got the win against Leinster, the guys were still disappointed,which shows the standards that we are setting ourselves. We expect such a high quality of play from ourselves, you can see how much the guys care for each other in the way we scramble on defence and work for each other on the field. When times get tough you can see the guys putting their hands up and doing the hard graft.
“At half-time we came up with good solutions and that is where we flipped the switch to stick to our plans and play our rugby that we are comfortable with.
“You could see the momentum shift in our favour. But silly errors like giving away penalties in the middle of the field or off-the-ball stuff could have cost us badly, but luckily we stuck in there and got the win.
“It was a good quality Leinster team and in the first half we were a bit rattled, but the way the guys actually stood up makes me proud, although there are a lot of things we can work on and be better at,” he said.
Kitshoff said that the crowd at DHL Stadium played a big role in the team getting over the line and that provides all the motivation they need in their quest to secure a home quarterfinal.
“The atmosphere in the stadium was absolutely electric, we are just so chuffed to have the Faithful back. Hopefully there is a quarterfinal so they can come out in their numbers again.
“As a team we have decided that this is our home and we are going to defend this place with our lives and as the years go on I think it is just going to become better and better,” he added.