Stormers' loyal stars 'sacrificed a sh*tload'
REACTION: Captain Steven Kitshoff says a lot of sacrifices were made to get the Stormers to where they are now.
The Cape Town-based franchise ended the round-robin phase of the United Rugby Championship with a 26-21 victory over the Scarlets in Llanelli on Saturday
That win secured them second spot in the standings and the South African Shield.
They will now host Edinburgh in the quarterfinals and if they win that match, they will also get to host a semifinal at Cape Town Stadium.
At the start of the season, there were not many pundits backing the Stormers to be a URC title contender.
After a few big-name departures, their squad depth was not all that impressive heading into the new tournament.
However, that didn’t stop them from producing some spectacular rugby and they have grown into a formidable unit heading into the play-offs.
“Winning the Shield was the first step for us to cement ourselves and build on the season we were currently having, especially after that home stretch and the confidence and the momentum that we got,” said Kitshoff.
“The silverware is absolutely amazing.
“You can actually feel the buzz in the changing room afterwards and how happy it made the guys.
“The guys worked hard and sacrificed a sh*tload.
“We know what play-off rugby is like and I think there was a little glimpse of it today [Saturday].
“We need to build on this and fix the mistakes we made tonight.
“I think there are some golden opportunities ahead of us.”
DHL STORMERS ARE THE SOUTH AFRICAN SHIELD CHAMPIONS ⚡️
— United Rugby Championship (URC) (@URCOfficial) May 21, 2022
Loyal to the cause
Stormers head coach John Dobson said loyalty played a key role in his team’s success so far.
“After 18 games to be the best team in South Africa at this level, it means a lot to the group,” said Dobson.
“We have been in the media for a long time for bad news over a few years and remarkable people like Steven Kitshoff, Scarra Ntubeni, Frans Malherbe, Damian Willemse and Salmaan Moerat stayed loyal to us.
“It’s good payback for them and it just means a lot to the group and to those youngsters coming through.
“We know we got a couple of important weeks coming up.
“There is no sense of the job being done at this stage.”