Bolla Conradie has no gripes about sitting on the Investec Stormers substitutes’ bench since the start of the Super 12 competition.
He is too glad to be getting the opportunity to start a game on Saturday when the Stormers are back at Newlands. They tackle the Reds from Queensland in an important match that will determine whether they still have a chance of making the play-offs.
Conradie is raring to go. Like he said, it’s been a while since he started a match.
“The last time I’ve started was in the pre-season match against Wasps in London. I got two minutes against the Brumbies and 10 against the Hurricanes, so you can imagine how much I am looking forward to playing again.”
The nippy scrumhalf said although every player wants to start every match, he never became frustrated during his spell on the bench. “Everybody wants to play and delivers his best, but I took it easy and never became frustrated.
“I’ve never been stressed out on tour, although every week on tour I had hoped to be in the starting XV for that Saturday’s game.”
Conradie was not too concerned that the long period of inactivity would have a negative effect on his game.
“Obviously, you have got to play to stay sharp, so we will have to wait until Saturday to see how it affected my game. However, I don’t see that I would have any problem getting to the points of breakdown.”
Conradie was the Springbok scrumhalf during last year’s triumphant Tri-Nations campaign, but playing for the national team is not a priority for him at the moment.
“My first priority now is to focus on Saturday’s game. I haven’t played for quite a while now and I want to do well for the Stormers before I start worrying about anything else.”
All eyes will be on Conradie on Saturday and people will be looking to him to provide the spark that has been missing thus far. But Conradie said the added pressure shouldn’t affect him too much.
“There is always pressure on you as a rugby player. You have to perform in every game and you have to give your best for your team.
“I won’t say there would be extra pressure on me or on the team, because there is pressure in every game. We just need to play to our potential.”