Schalk Burger looks to be the likely Stormers Captain this year despite Jean deVilliers being the current Springbok Captain.
Finally, we come to the back three, the wings and fullback. The Cape has always produced a plethora of gifted wingbacks and this year it is no exception. Add to the mix the precocious talent of a young Mr Taute, and we have the making of a sublime back three.
South Africa is blessed with some wonderful centres at the moment, and the lads in the Stormers squad are no exception. Springbok Captain Jean de Villiers again wears the Captains band for the Stormers, even though Schalk Burger is expected back from a long injury lay-off a couple of weeks into the season.
Last 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.
2012 Saw the Stormers topping the table in the round robin, only to lose out to the Sharks in the semi’s. 2013 Will be a big year for the boys. With almost the whole of the young 2012 squad still available and the coaching staff remaining unchanged (unlike the very disruptive 2012 start), this side has every chance of going all the way this year. Add to the squad the likes of Burger, Cilliers, Rhodes, Taute and Jantjies, depth in every position looks so much better.
First of all, a heartfelt congratulations to the Sharks. A better team, a better Game plan, and a better execution. They came, they saw, they conquered.
Springbok Eben Etzebeth was running at full tilt at the Stormers’ training session in Bellville on Thursday, and is fit to lock the side’s vulnerable scrum in their Super Rugby semi-final at Newlands next week.
The cup is in our hands.
Cape Town – The Stormers have recalled versatile loose forward Pieter Louw to help alleviate their current injury crisis in the back row.
What, you may well ask has the headline got to do with this match. Let me explain.
As much as I hate this clichéd saying that every sports commentator has used with gay abandon since the 1980’s, where the English football hacks had run every overused idiom, including this one into the ground, it is most apt for this game. This really was “a game of two halves”.
It wasn’t the stronger team that won this match, there wasn’t one. It was a little bit of perhaps slightly better planning by the Stormers, and a little bit of luck.
Stormers go into the match against the Lions at Coca Cola Park on Saturday at 19h10 with the same side as last weekend.
Three things struck me about yesterday’s game – The Stormers didn’t succumb to the Blues mind games, the tight five finally seemed to strike a chord, and the manners of the Newlands crowd are despicable.
Two from two and a bye next week for the Stormers, thats 12 points in the bag, and thats what counts. The Stormers used their ‘get out of jail free’ card this weekend, and between now and the Blues in 2 weeks, there’s a lot of work to be done.
For the Sharks it is 0 from 2 with 2 meagre bonus points.
Hooker Deon Fourie broke a bone in his hand in the Stormers’ pre-season warm-up fixture against the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth and will be out for longer than it was initially expected.
As per my comment in the live thread, not a great game, but according to both coaches a good day at the office, and preparations for the Start of the Super 15 well on track.
2012 is the year that the Stormers will try to one further than the semi-finals for the 3rd time in a row. If the last two years are anything to go by, and the squad build up that Rassie Erasmus and Allister Coetzee have been trying to achieve, than going all the way should be a given.
The South African Rugby Union (Saru) could spring a massive surprise next week and retain incumbent Springbok coach Peter de Villiers as a caretaker coach for the upcoming three-test series against England.
Four years ago, the SA Rugby bosses did the right thing morally by appointing Peter de Villiers as the first black Springbok coach. Next month they will hopefully do the right thing again. This time by picking the best man for the Bok job – doesn’t matter if he is white, caramel, black, or something in-between.
The Western Province duo of Rassie Erasmus and Allister Coetzee have declared themselves unavailable for the Springbok coaching job and have no interest in the position at this time.