Stormers winger Seabelo Senatla is showing great confidence in his side by issuing a warning to the other teams in Pool B of the Heineken Champions Cup that the Stormers flair will carry them far in the competition.
This weekend sees the long-anticipated introduction of the South African sides into European competition and excitement levels at the prospect are high.
“I think it’s going to be pretty similar to what we brought to the URC,” Senatla told the Champions Cup’s official website. “We brought a little bit more flair and running off the ball.
“I think the Northern Hemisphere teams tend to keep everything quite safe and that’s how they play the game – they’re quite systematic, well structured, well oiled, very technical, very tactical.
“At the Stormers we try to play with more instinct and try to use intuition in our play more. You’ll see we put some air onto the ball and try to use feet and skill to beat people, instead of using a whole system.”
The Stormers are really jumping in at the deep-end of the competition with their first match against Clermont, away, in front of the latter’s passionate and vociferous home fans. From there, they make the trip to England to face London Irish before returning home to Cape Town to face those sides again.
“My first impressions [of the Heineken Champions Cup] would definitely be that it is something quite equivalent to the heights of something like the Champions League, if you think of soccer,” Senatla continued.
“It’s the best of the best coming out to play each other, so it’s nice for us, because as an athlete, you always want to be measuring yourself against the best.
“If you’re playing against the best of the best, then you get to measure yourself up there. It’s quite exciting for us to get our first go at it.
“You hear stories about the rich, rich history of certain clubs, your Toulons and Saracens. You want to test yourself against that history and make some of your own.”
Senatla return to the pitch is still forthcoming after sustaining a pectoral injury in September.
“I’m glad I’m not going to France because it’s quite cold.” he joked. “My injury came around at the right time!
“Hopefully, we’ll still be in the competition when I come back. I’ll be pushing them hard so I can play when it’s warm!”