Message from Gert Smal and the Stormers team

PUBLISHED: May 11, 2004

Thank you for all the letters, emails and calls of support from around the country and indeed the world. You are what makes this team and brand great.

Five points in the Shark tank and third place on the Vodacom Super 12 log saw us achieve our first goal for the season. 3rd on the log sees us play the Crusaders, a team we believe we will be very competitive against, in this one off winner takes all match.

A lot of travel and a tough semi-final awaits us, but as this competition continues to show, any team can beat another on any given day. Whilst we have certainly racked up more air miles than any other team in the competition by now, we would not have traveled if we did not believe in our hearts that we could win. We know we carry the hopes of many South Africans and we will be doing our utmost to make you all proud.

The team traveled well, its now early morning and we are safely in our hotel. The team has already started to adapt to New Zealand time, and will not train later this morning (Monday). Greg Hechter our fitness trainer and our medical team will ensure the team is acclimatized as soon as humanly possible. Training will be light this week in preparation for the match. Squad members remain positive and upbeat about our semifinal chances.

Thanks for your ongoing support.

Your coach,

Gert Smal