Groom: ‘Squad spirit is high’

PUBLISHED: April 6, 2015

Scrumhalf Nic Groom says the spirit is high in the DHL Stormers’ camp as the Men from the Cape look to pick up their first win on their four-match Vodacom Super Rugby tour of Australasia.

The DHL Stormers finished the New Zealand leg of their 2015 tour with a narrow 20-25 defeat to the Hurricanes in Wellington, but they remain determined to make it count over the next fortnight.

They will start their Australian tour leg against the defending champion Waratahs this Saturday, before finishing off against the Western Force in Perth the following weekend.

Groom told the www.iamastormer.com website: “The spirit in the squad is high, we’re really looking forward to the next two weeks.

“Nobody likes losing and we’re not happy with our two defeats thus far, but we will take plenty of heart from some aspects of our performances so far – especially from the second half on Friday – and we will continue to learn from our mistakes.

“The effort against the Hurricanes was a lot better than the week before, but we made one or two crucial errors – in coughing up the ball – which really cost us and we know we need to fix that.”

Groom, 25, is on his third Vodacom Super Rugby tour with the DHL Stormers but he is yet to earn a victory on Australian soil.

He added: “I’ve never tasted victory in Australia… it’s a challenge I look forward to overcoming.

“We will obviously miss (squad captain) Duane Vermeulen (who is back in South Africa to rest), but we could still possibly field an all-Springbok loose trio with players who have different strengths… (strengths) which we can hopefully use to our advantage.”

Meanwhile, DHL Stormers assistant coach Robbie Fleck is expecting the Waratahs to come out firing after their bye week.

The defending Super Rugby champions are in second place on the Australian Conference log, with a game in hand over the log-leading Brumbies.

Said Fleck: “The Waratahs are a quality outfit – they’ve proven it over the past few years, having taken on the best teams in Super Rugby and beating them.

“They’re big, they ask a lot of questions of you defensively and their defence is accurate too. We need to be at our best against them, but we have taken confidence from the ‘Canes match and will use that on Saturday.”

Saturday’s match, at Allianz Stadium, gets underway at 19h40 local time, which is 11h40 South African time. The DHL Stormers team – to take on the Waratahs – will be announced on Thursday morning SA time.