CAPE TOWN - Stormers centre Damian de Allende says it’s time to “trade words for action” when it comes to their Super Rugby campaign.
The Stormers will be looking forward to their next three home games after losing all six of their matches on the road. And a win at Newlands on Friday is absolutely vital if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The only games the Stormers have managed to win this season were their three home games against the Jaguares, Blues and Reds, but banking on home ground-advantage to pull them through just won’t be enough going forward.
And De Allende knows that.
“It is tough for us to get any kind of message across with words at this point we have to trade words for action” De Allende said.
“I thought that our meeting after the Sharks game at the weekend was a good one and we also put a lot of purpose into our training (on Monday). But it is pointless talking about it.
“We need to go out there and produce on the field. Hopefully our performance on Friday will be a message that will bring in the crowds for the following week.”
Following the Stormers’ 24-17 defeat to the Sharks on Saturday, coach Robbie Fleck explained that it was individual errors that were letting them down.
And the Springbok centre agreed with Fleck about the player error rate.
“It has been a tough time for us and I can assure you all the players are hurting,” De Allende said.
“It hasn’t gone for us this season, but we just have to keep working hard and keep digging and digging.
“The Sharks (match) was always going to be a tough game for us away. We thought we were much better in the game than we had been in the previous matches, but Fleckie was right; soft moments let us down.”
The Stormers’ hopes of catching up to the Lions in the South African conference and ensuring a home playoff spot are long gone. But they can crack into one of the top-eight spots and make the knockouts as a wild card - if they win their remaining games, which include visits from the Bulls and Chiefs following their date with the Rebels before they travel to Hong Kong to face the Sunwolves.
“The two away games (Sunwolves and Jaguares) will have to be won too if we are to have any chance” De Allende said.
“We will just have to take it week by week. Winning is a habit and losing can become a habit. Hopefully we will build up enough confidence to get the win away from home when next we travel.
“The Rebels started the season like a house on fire and they have very talented players. They have changed a lot and improved a lot since last year. They are physical, but they also have lots of flair. They have nippy backs and good wings.
“But we’ve had a nice chat about what to expect and we will be preparing well for the game and are confident we can produce a performance the Newlands crowd will be pleased with.”