Captain Luke still confident

PUBLISHED: February 15, 2007

Vodacom Stormers captain Luke Watson said his team was confident that they can turn the tide and get the Vodacom Super 14 campaign back on track when they tackle the Chiefs at Newlands on Friday evening.

He reckons it is just a matter of time before the talented Cape side clicks and finds their rhythm. The flanker said his team deserved the negative publicity they attracted lately, but they are keen to rectify things.

“I don’t think there has been any positive publicity, but duly so. The past two games I thought we had the ability to also win the game, it is never a question of ability or commitment,” said the Super 14 player of the year of 2006.

“This team is riddled with talent and ability. The guys play with commitment and dedication every time they go out on the field. It has just been about – and it’s difficult to explain – but it’s been about passes that haven’t gone to hand and little things that don’t gel and click,” explained Watson.

“The practices have been going brilliantly. The guys have been looking brilliant, so in my opinion it is just about a moment in time. It is going to happen; it’s going to turn around – we hope and believe it is going to be fine and it is just a matter of timing.

“If it does turn, we have the ability to tear most teams in the competition to pieces.”

Watson admitted the defeat to the Western Force last Friday hurt and affected the players. “After the Force it was difficult. That was a very long weekend. We had Saturday and Sunday off.

“When the guys came together on Monday morning, we made a commitment to each other that we are still going to be extremely positive. We are still going to believe in ourselves, we are still going to have that confidence that makes us the team that we are.

“The strength that the Stormers have had and even in the Currie Cup last year has been that vibe, that spirit, that confidence they exude when they step onto the field and nothing has changed. The guys are very hungry and very much looking forward to the game.

“Obviously, the pressure is much more on and beyond these four walls of Newlands it does get a bit rough out there, but the guys are still very confident and positive.”

The captain emphasized the importance of a victory before they depart on the arduous overseas leg of their campaign. He said it was very important to leave with a win under their belts.

“I think it’s about momentum. Sometimes it is difficult to explain to guys out on the field, but it’s about momentum, it’s about rhythm, it’s about confidence.

“When you’re out there you can have all the ability in the world, but if you can’t gel the guys together to really play as a team and get the rhythm going, it is really difficult.

“Last weekend was a vital game, but now it is even more so this weekend. The pressure is definitely on, but I’d like to reiterate what Kobus (van der Merwe) said, it is still very early in the competition.

“It’s two games down and there are another 11 games left in the round robin before we get into the semi-finals, so it is still very early in the competition.”