Saturday 21 September 2019

Grobler: You prove yourself by playing

Gerbrandt Grobler during Munster Rugby squad training. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Gerbrandt Grobler during Munster Rugby squad training. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Dave Murphy

Munster second-row Gerbrandt Grobler said he was delighted to get his first Thomond Park start under his belt as he helped his side claim a 24-24 draw against Ulster last weekend.

The Ulster game was only the ninth time that Grobler featured in the Munster jersey, and it was confirmed last weekend that he will be leaving the province at the end of the season.

He caught the eye against the northern province with an impressive five lineout steals as Munster performed well at the defensive set-piece, but he admits it was a relief to finally start in Limerick.

"There is only one way to prove yourself and that's on the field," said Grobler. "It's good, it was really fun. It's actually my first start in Thomond Park for the Munster team and it's cool.

"Even though we drew the game, for me it was a lovely experience playing. When you contest lineouts you hear the supporters screaming your name very loud and singing, I love that, that's a very cool vibe."

With just four starts to his name since he signed with the province last summer, injury meant the South African native did not feature in the first half of the season for Johann van Graan's side.

But Grobler told the Munster Rugby website that he still thinks he has lots to prove ahead of the last games of the season as he tries to retain his starting slot.

"There is a lot of us - including myself - who wanted to prove ourselves and give our coach a bit of a headache for next week, who is he going to pick.

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"80 minutes is long, I looked at the clock at 72 minutes and I just said, 'Eight minutes, that's all you have to do'.

"I think the physicality part of it, everyone was just stuck into each other. You can decide to step off it or embrace it and go with it. I did the latter so it was good."

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