If the Vodacom Stormers are mentally tuned in they have a good chance of beating the Bulls at Newlands on Saturday in their final Vodacom Super 14 match of the season.
Jerome Paarwater, assistant coach of the Stormers, said it has been proven that if the Stormers are firing on all cylinders they are difficult to contain. He said a good finish to the season now depends on the players’ attitude.
“Yesterday and today one could see the guys are really focused, they are ready for this game. It is a disgrace to lose the way we did at Loftus last year (75-14) and that is definitely still fresh in the guys’ minds.
“We also lost to them in the Currie Cup and we are to a certain degree fed-up of losing to those guys now. We are tuned in for this one, although everything depends on the day.
“I hope we can play the same type of rugby we played against the Crusaders, where everything just went right for us. We know, however, that doesn’t happen often, so we are going to have to be at our best.”
The former WP flank said he could see in training on Tuesday that the players were “switched on”. “We had a video session yesterday and this morning the forwards had a lineout session and a good scrumming session. The backs went through their moves and there was a buzz.
“It is just a matter of how the players are going to motivate themselves. From a coaching point of view there is not much we can do. This is the last game of the season and we cannot have koppestamp-sessions now.
“We should work on the mental preparation and if the guys are properly tuned in, we will be difficult to stop.” Paarwater said hooker Schalk Brits didn’t take part in Tuesday’s training session, but he is expected to be ready for consideration for Saturday’s big game.
“I spoke to him this morning and he said he was not 100% yet, but that he should be ready to play.” He said the late withdrawal of Brits hampered the Stormers in a big way in their defeat to the Sharks the past Saturday.
“We were mentally focused. We told ourselves we were going to win. But Schalk’s withdrawal disrupted our rhythm. Shimmy battled with his lineout throws and we lost six lineouts on our own throw.
“We were forced to send Huia Edmunds on and although it went better in the lineouts, we started to struggle in the scrums. Huia only joined us on Friday evening, so one cannot blame him.
“In the second half we decided to retain possession and things went better. We had a chance to win the game, but time was not on our side. It was not nice to lose, but we knew it was going to be difficult.”