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South African Super Rugby Franchises
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StormersLast year, this is where I expected the bloggers have a good giggle. This year, we all know the coup pulled off by Allister Coetzee and Co which has, with the signing of one player, completely changed the face of the Stormers flyhalf dilemma of the past.

This has been one of the weakest areas for the Stormers for so long now, but temporarily anyway, the winds of change have blown in with the Cape Doctor as Elton Jantjies makes his first appearance in the Mother City for the pre-season warm-ups. With Demetri Catrikillis having moved to the Southern Kings and Burton Francis gone, it is now up to Elton Jantjies, Peter Grant and Gary van Aswegen to do the business.

 

 

 

Gary van Aswegen

HEIGHT 178 cm

WEIGHT 88 Kg

BIRTH DATE 18 February 1990 – Age 22

DHL Stormers Vodacom Super Rugby – 2011

Fly half

From knee injuries in 2011 to recurring ankle injuries in 2012, this kid is like a training doll for the St Johns Ambulance crew on a medical course. Will he be able to see the season through injury free? Until then, one can only speculate as to how good Gary is.

Touted by Alister Coetzee to be the flyhalf of the future when he arrived at WP HQ in 2010, frustratingly, we still await the proof. Undoubtedly a player with potential, these injuries are going to remain a career hinderance for him, I fear.

Unconvincing in his warm-up games before the start of Super Rugby 2012, he was chosen to start whilst Peter Grant was left on the bench after his late arrival from Japan. He played competently, without lighting up the match, and thereafter Grant became the No 1 choice. Later in the season Demetri Catrikillis overtook Van Aswegen in the pecking order, so he didn’t see as much game time as he should have. Then the ankle injury.

 

Elton JantjiesElton_Jantjies

HEIGHT 176 cm

WEIGHT 84 Kg

BIRTH DATE 1 August 1990 – Age 22

Golden Lions – 2011 – 2012

DHL Western Province – 2013

Fly half

A prodigious talent, as has been proven in his career so far, and probably the biggest coup in the loan signings from the Lions as they sit out the season.

Elton, alongside Patrick Lambie and Johan Goosen, are the rated flyhalves in South African rugby at the moment. WP / Stormers have really struggled over the last few years to find, and hold on to, a really gifted flyhalf. Now, for a season, at least, they have one. That is not to say that Peter Grant hasn’t done an admirable job for the Stormers so far, it is just that this kid does have the X-factor, and with the Stormers back line players that they have, and the style of play they are trying to play, he will certainly do the business.

A player with extra-ordinary vision, and coached by one of the best at the Lions, his speed, accuracy and kicking skills will make Jantjies a valuable asset, and I am sure the No 1 pivot for the Stormers. Perceived to be small and wiry, his defensive skills have always been challenged, but he has really tightened his game up in this area too, to improve his all round skills.

“I don’t compete against any flyhalf in South Africa or in the world. I compete against myself to improve as a player and just to do my job as a flyhalf and take all the responsibilities that goes with the position. So, I know I have to do my job at all aspects of the game. If I’m good at that then I can be the number one flyhalf.” Humble, and with a good head on his young shoulders, this is the players that The Stormers so deeply desired.

 

Contenders:

Peter Grant

HEIGHT 186 cm

WEIGHT 92 Kg

BIRTH DATE 15 August 1984 – Age 28

DHL Stormers Super Rugby – 2006

Fly half

Much maligned by most, Peter Grant has been a solid, consistent, and always a player that you know will give 150% all the time. Although not as gifted as the likes of Elton Jantjies, Patrick Lambie and Johan Goosen, as a back up player, no union would look this gift horse in the mouth to play for them when their cards are down. He has been a very loyal servant to WP / Stormers rugby for so long, and in many cases saved matches for his team. Absolutely solid in defence, a reliable kicker, and good vision, Peter can win matches, without necessarily lighting them up.

More likely to play second fiddle to Elton Jantjies, he will be a more than valuable bench player for the Stormers. In one fell swoop, Allister Coetzee has shored up the weakest area in the Stormers armoury, and created something that will, hopefully, take them that one step further in the following season.

He will, of course, miss the warm up season, as he will be still playing for the Kobe Steelers (Japan), but he will slot back into the Stormers squad once the season ‘proper’, starts.

7 Responses to Super Rugby: Stormers squad contenders – Flyhalves

  • 1

    Not bad at all… and with the 2 better young Scrumhalves in Nic Groom and Schreuder… this could tweak the Stormers nicely!

  • 2

    Not sold on Jantjies yet. He is talented for sure, but gets flustered when put under pressure. The semi of the Currie Cup was a clear example of this. Jantjies was targeted, and he was hustled, and folded badly.

    That said, he is a vast improvement on Grant, as far asX-factor is concerned. Should Jantjies suffer injury, the Stormers game plan will have to be re-jigged? That is to assume they are going to try and play the CC model with Jantjies the hub.

    Whats left apart from the three mentioned? Coleman? Swiel?

  • 3

    Stormers are well covered in the flyhalf department. Think Elton will bring something more than Grant did.
    Though have to agree with C4E Elton sometimes feels the pressure in big games. Also needs to work on his defence, though that will be sorted playing for Stormers as their defence is top class. Elton is a very good flyhalf so expect a lot from him in a top class team.

    Grant will no doubt be covering on the bench for Elton, well that is how I see it.

    2 @ Cheetah4eva:
    Yip I wonder where is Swiel here? Thought he just may be part of the S15 squad at the Stormers.

  • 4

    @ Puma:
    Actually all the teams are well covered at 10 Pooms, Sa has not had this depth at 10 in a long, long time

  • 5

    I keep seeing people now trying to make out as though Lambie cannot kick far?? what a load of crap, they judge this on the heavy NH conditions where no one was getting distance?? not Bok kickers or the locals up there.

    Infact they are welcome to go watch the S/F in the CC last year where Lambie out kicked Morne in ever facet of kicking, When I saw Morne kicking this year in the UK he too was like a pop gun, but we know he aint a weak kicker,

  • 6

    5 @ Sharky,
    definitely nothing wrong with Lambies distance off the tee. Haven’t paid much attention to his field kicking as yet. He probably won’t be hammering any 55m plus conversions, but Fransie can. Goosen of course has done it often enough, to almost take for granted.

    This has also affected his % of successful kicks, because he has no qualms of having a go from anywhere sub65m.

    It makes opposition wary of transgressing anywhere near closer than the opposition 22 lol

  • 7

    5 @ Sharks_forever:More Stain has been playing in the UK this year? Whistling



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