First there is the small matter of taking on the Cape Cobras in a cricket match at Newlands on Sunday. But that doesnt mean the Vodacom Stormers do not have their eyes firmly fixed on succes in this year’s Vodacom Super 14.
After the disappointment of last season the players are keen to set the record straight this time around.
Captain Schalk Burger told the media this week he was looking forward to the season, as the Stormers have a strong team. He also expects to deal with a lot of pressure as captain – his debut season in that role after Jean de Villiers left at the end of last season to play club rugby in Ireland.
“There will be much more pressure on me as captain, but I was a senior player at Western Province the past three, four years, so I know what is expected of me.” Burger is keen to get back into action.
“There are always huge expectations in Cape Town. Last year we finished tenth on the log and the year before that we were fifth. But with Jaque (Fourie) and Bryan (Habana) playing for us this year we added a couple of high profile players.
“We did well in the Currie Cup and almost reached the final. Now we want to start the Super 14 well. We have more experience and got a good draw, but we still need to win the games. Hopefully this will be our year.”
Lock Anton van Zyl echoed his captain’s sentiments, saying the Stormers have their sights on the best Super14 performance in the history of the franchise this year.
“The high expectations of supporters are justified. The team started showing promise from the end of last year’s Super14 through the Currie Cup, and there are also new acquisitions,” said Van Zyl.
“We’re working hard at becoming the complete package, not as individuals, but as a team.
“As a team we’d like to come up with the best Stormers performance ever, but on a more practical level and in terms of vision, we’d just like to improve our performance every week. We’d like to perform better as a team than any Stormers team before us.”