“It’s time to step up or get stepped on.”
That is how Springbok centre Waylon Murray succinctly described the up-coming Super 14 encounter against the Western Force on Friday night at the Absa Stadium (kick-off at 7pm). This article by Zayn Nabbi on IOL.
The season opener is shaping up to be a cracker and Murray is just one of 30 players fizzing to get out on to the park.
“Failure is not an option for us this season we want to go all the way,” said the 21-year-old, who has forged arguably the most potent midfield combination in the southern hemisphere with Brad Barritt.
“I’m a lot more confident this year. It is going to be my third Super rugby campaign and for a lot of us we are more settled having been around for a while. You get used to handling the pressure and to trust your God-given talent.”
Murray knows about taking opportunities and making the most of them. Coming from Sydenham, Murray is never one to back down from a challenge and is the man you’d want to play with rather than against. He’s also not a bloke who talks much, so when he speaks you listen.
“Simply put, this season is about stepping up or being stepped on. It’s time to step up and to be counted,” he continued. “Our preparation has been good. The guys are working well and getting used to playing together.”
Murray admitted that it didn’t get harder than playing the Force, who was Australia’s top franchise in the Super 14 last year.
“I think what they’ve achieved in two years is phenomenal,” he said. “They’ve got good coaching structures which are the tools for a successful team.”
Murray said that the Force’s fulcrum would be Wallaby sensation Matt Giteau and points machine Cameron Sheppard.
“Those two are definitely the danger men,” he said. “But in terms of the main playmaker and the general of the Force backline, that would be Matt. He’s a great player and makes things happen. He is one creative player and has the ability to open the game up.”
Murray along with French international flyhalf Frederic Michalak did not train on Monday night.
The duo were nursing niggles with Murray’s hamstring being tight after an early morning session, while Michalak had a knock to his calf.
Meanwhile, the Western Force are dealing with yet another maelstrom in their camp. This time an unnamed Force player has apparently broken a team-mate’s jaw.
The incident came on the eve of the Perth-based franchises three week tour to South Africa and management said the matter is being dealt with internally.
The altercation is believed to have been between scrumhalf Matt Henjak and winger Haig Sare, with the later suffering from a suspected broken jaw.
Late last year forwards Scott Fava and Richard Brown were found guilty of mistreating small Australian animals (quokkas) on a team building camp.
Previously, Fava had been suspended by coach John Mitchell while touring SA in 2007 for failing a breathalyser test.Tweet