Marcel Van der Merwe : "We have matured after those hard times"
This week, RCT’s right prop talked during a press conference about the forthcoming away game against Bordeaux, on Day 25 of the Top 14. According to him, the difficult times the team went through this season will bring about positive results in the final stretch of the season.
Marcel, RCT have struggled away from home this season. Do you think things could change against Bordeaux, this week-end, a capital game in view of the play-offs?
It’s true, we’ve struggled in away games this season, but we talked about it this week and we want to bring a good result from Bordeaux. We’ve worked for it, anyway, and we hope it’s going to pay off.
We’re into the last stages of a hectic season. How do you consider the last few months, the way you adapted to the club and to the Top 14?
It’s been a hectic season, no doubt about this, with numerous ups and downs. But, sometimes, one can become complacent when things get too easy. In our case, it’s the contrary. The bad patches we went through this season may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. In any case, it’s been a real test of character. It’s going to help us for the end of the season and, also, for the future of the club. We have matured going through those hard times. Maybe there is even more cohesion within the group and we’ll try to achieve something great this year.
On a personal level, do you think you’re a better prop today than when you joined the club?
First, the scrum has to be played collectively. But individual performance also matters, of course. There have to be reference points and the players behind us and in front of us have to be taken into account. And then, a prop improves throughout his career. I think a prop is a better player at the end of his career than at the beginning. It takes time: there’s always something to learn in this position, improvements always have to be made.