News24.com | Winning silverware ‘amazing’, but the job’s not done yet, says Stormers skipper Kitshoff
Stormers captain Steven Kitshoff. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)
They certainly left it late, but the Stormers pulled through with a last-minute victory over the Scarlets in a United Rugby Championship encounter on Saturday.
John Dobson’s charges ran out 26-21 winners as centre Ruhan Nel scored a try to clinch the match after the scores were tied at 21-21.
Skipper Steven Kitshoff was full of pride in his team’s performance, who has shown throughout the campaign that they are formidable opponents.
After the match, Kitshoff said the team’s character shone through on Saturday.
“The character of the team just came through in the last 10 minutes,” said Kitshoff.
“We kept on hitting the [Scarlets] wall until the cracks started to show, and that’s how we got over the line at the end,” he added.
With 12 wins out of 18 during the league phase of URC, the Stormers secured 61 points, enough for second position on the log.
That helped ensure they won the South African Shield as the top-ranked side from the country, something Kitshoff felt was well-deserved.
He said, however, that the team would like to build on from this point, particularly in the knock-out stages of the URC.
“Winning the Shield was the first step and for us to actually build on the season that we are having, especially after that home stretch and the confidence and momentum that we got.
“The silverware today is amazing. You can feel the buzz in the change room afterwards and on the field, how happy it made the guys.
The Springbok prop acknowledged that while hard work lay ahead for the team, so did opportunities.
“There was a lot of hard work and sacrifice that went into this stretch of the campaign,” he said.
“But it is just the first step. We know what playoff rugby is like. I think we got a little bit of a glimpse of it today.
“There are some golden opportunities laying ahead for us.”
The knock-out phase of the competition sees the Stormers with a home quarter-final against Edinburgh.
This will take place on the weekend of 3 and 4 June.