Spears coach Peter de Villiers does not believe his side has sufficient quality to beat the Stormers, yet.
Speaking to keo.co.za, a realistic De Villiers stated that he was not expecting to overcome the largely-first choice side named by Stormers coach Kobus van der Merwe for tomorrow’s friendly in Wellington.
“The Stormers have a great support base, have a side packed with Boks and have a lot to prove,” De Villiers said. “It’s short-sighted to think we’re gonna win, but equally short-sighted to think that we will not be desperate to keep the score down.
“I’ve said this before, but people must understand that it will take three years to get this team going. I am not putting pressure on the players. I want them to enjoy their rugby, we are working on a lot of things and will experiment tomorrow. What works we take forward and what doesn’t we abandon,”
De Villiers’ side were much improved last weekend where, despite losing to the Cats, they delivered a far more optimistic display than when on the receiving end of a Cheetahs’ 48-0 caning the week before.
“We did play better last week, but also worse. It was better in the sense that the guys started to gel as a unit, but worse in that we created far more chances and opportunities but just didn’t capitalise.
“It’s not all doom and gloom. We had 35 000 turn out to watch us play the Cheetahs, and whether they’re genuine supporters or just people out to determine if we’re good enough or just a bunch of baboons I don’t know. Having people interested in what we are doing is a blessing and a big privilege, though, and I’m confident we’ll win over supporters by establishing a brand of rugby that is distinctly South African. After all, what greater obligation does any rugby side have than to its supporters?”
The one factor in the Spears’ favour, a lack of expectation, is neglected by De Villiers as having any bearing on tomorrow’s result. Many of the Stormers’ first side will remember the last time they visited Wellington wearing blue and white, but De Villiers is equally dismissive of suggestions that the loss to Boland will have an impact.
“There is nothing in anyone’s past that determines their future. I don’t think the Boland game will have any effect on this game. They are a different team, bolstered by a lot of Boks. We have our work cut out.”