Showing their mettle with a thrilling last-minute win over Northampton in the LV= Cup, Harlequins wing Seb Stegmann insists a championship-winning ethos running through the squad is paying dividends, writes Ryan Walters.
Ben Botica crossed well beyond the 80-minute mark for the Aviva Premiership champions in the 31-30 win, crowning a phase of play that was testament to Quins' brand of rugby.
With ten new faces in the starting XV, 23-year-old Stegmann was delighted everyone was able to transfer the hunger and desire to prove a point, pent up in training, onto the field at Franklin's Gardens.
And, with squad rotation vital as they near the Christmas period, Stegmann is adamant Quins will be experiencing more success on all fronts, particularly as all involved are buying into the same philosophy at the Stoop.
“It was a really good start to the whole campaign and we dug in well,” said Stegmann.
“We finally came away with the win with the last play which was a little cheeky but at the same time we stuck to our game and knew we could do it.
“We have a huge belief here and everyone buys into our system and our whole ethos of playing the ball and we believe we can come back from anything and it was good to prove it.
“There is always the talk of boys coming in and wanting to take their chance and they showed they can fill the shoes of anyone.
“They want to assert themselves and do it for the team and it is like a bonus. Not only are they coming in with a point to prove but they are fresh and doing it for the side.
“That is one of the main driving factors behind the squad. We were champions last season and we have all the other teams gunning for us but within the team we are all gunning for a starting spot.”
Stegmann is willing to wait patiently for a starting role when the Aviva Premiership returns, having been dropped to the bench after starting both of Quins’ two league defeats.
But, with Tom Williams preferred in the No.14 jersey, Stegmann hopes the strengths learnt from his fellow wing, added to his own, will get him the nod.
“I am always striving to push on and get a starting spot,” he added. “It is good to have an impact off the bench but everyone wants to start.
“We were unlucky against Sarries and I felt I did my basics well but against Exeter it was below-par for the whole team and I couldn’t put my attacking game on the pitch.
“But it’s a long season and I will keep pushing and take my chances when they come. I definitely look up to Tom.
“He has been here for a while and I would back myself against any winger. I look to add the strengths I learn from him and add it to my own.
“But it is tough and I will be looking to take my chance when it comes."
The LV= Cup. Watch the next generation break through. For tickets and info, visit www.lv.com/rugby