United Rugby Championship: ‘Winning becomes a habit’ says Stormers’ Steven Kitshoff

Dylan Coetzee

Stormers captain Steven Kitshoff believes his team has an excellent chance to triumph over Edinburgh when they meet in the United Rugby Championship quarter-finals.

The Cape Town outfit has surpassed expectations this season and finished second on the table after the regular season, claiming the South African shield in the process.

Trust in the structures

Kitshoff believes that “winning becomes a habit” and says his side have confidence in their structures.

“To be honest, this team is in a really good spot. We are quite excited. The buzz around training is very exciting, so I think we have a great chance,” Kitshoff said.

“Winning becomes a habit, and I truly believe it.

“If something quickly happens – like when we went behind to Scarlets early in the game – you look at how the guys kept on sticking to the way we play, nobody started panicking and we clawed our way back.

“This team, in the way we have been preparing over the last three months, it’s been about guys believing in the structures, believing that this is the way we are going to win games. That belief translates into the way we play.

“In tight games, it can always come down to a drop of the ball or a penalty here or there to win or lose the game. But if we stick to our plan, we know we will create opportunities to score tries and prevent teams from scoring points. That’s how we see we can win big games.”

Kitshoff is joined in the Stormers front-row by Springbok teammate and scrum specialist Frans Malherbe, and they will take on two Scottish-South Africans in WP Nel and Pierre Schoeman, who have both been in fine form.

“It wasn’t that long ago that they were playing their rugby in South Africa. I have played a few games against them. Watching them play in Scotland, they have been performing quite well,” Kitshoff added.

Edinburgh has a very good pack of forwards, a bunch of big guys, strong ball-carriers. They’ve got good work rate around the park. It’s going to be an interesting challenge. I haven’t played against them in quite a while, so I am really looking forward to that challenge.”

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