Luke says Stormers won’t underestimate Brumbies

PUBLISHED: March 5, 2007

Vodacom Stormers captain Luke Watson has warned that the Vodacom Stormers must forget about the win against the Hurricanes and now instead focus on Friday’s Vodacom Super 14 clash with the Brumbies in Canberra.

Watson, of the stars in the upset win over last year’s beaten finalists in Palmerston North, said he expects a fiery reaction from the Brumbies, who lost to the Bulls on Saturday.

“The Brumbies are always dangerous and will be looking to make amends after losing their last two, to the Hurricanes and Bulls. Despite injuries they remain formidable opponents. We will take nothing for granted as we expect them to come at us and look to play their usual brand of attacking rugby.”

Watson said while the victory over the Hurricanes was a very welcome one, the Stormers cannot afford to rest on their laurels. They still have a lot of hard work to do in training this week.

“There is always room for improvement. Again we need to start aggressively and get ourselves into scoring positions early on,” explained the flank. “We let a few scoring chances go begging after some great build-up play and we will be looking to finish more of these.

“There were still mistakes creeping into our game that must be ironed out but the win represents a significant step forward.”

South Africa’s Super 14 player of the Year in 2006 added: “The win is a huge boost for the morale of the team and the confidence of the players. The guys showed that this bunch of young guys can develop into a very special unit if they play for each other and to their potential.”

Watson said he was very happy with the improved performance of the Stormers and he was never in doubt about the potential and ability of the squad. “I don’t think there has ever been a doubt that we could win at this level. It was more the manner of victory, and this one was clinical.

“I told the guys to relax and go out and enjoy the game and it was evident on the field. Each guy stuck to what he had to do and played for his team-mates and the team. The Boks came to the party in this match.

“They made a huge difference by the way that they played which will be critical to the performance going forward.”

Watson also explained his decision to play with the strong wind behind them in the first half. “We wanted to put pressure on them from the start because we expected them to run at us. This worked very well and out defence held solid in the first quarter where we were able to capitalise with 13 unanswered points.

“The fact that we got two intercepts was further evidence that we had them under pressure and were forcing passes. They played better in the second half but when we got our fourth try we knew that the game was ours.”

He singled the defence out as an area of their game that gave him particular pleasure and explained a lot of hard work went into it. “We have worked hard on our defence, especially alignment and communication. The defence was awesome on the night and the guys can be proud of their performance there.”

The bonus point for four tries was another highlight of the game for the captain. “It is fantastic to have scored four tries in each of our last two matches. We now have 11 in three starts which is a good return. Six points from two matches on tour so far is also positive.”