DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has some tough decisions to make this week after a poor showing in key areas last week.
Jean DeVilliers has been named as the Stormers captain for Friday’s Super Rugby opener against the Bulls at Loftus.
Cape Town – Schalk Burger may be a surprise starter against the Bulls if he comes through fitness tests this week.
DHL Stormers lock Eben Etzebeth will miss the start of his team’s 2013 Vodacom Super Rugby campaign, after being ruled out of action for six to eight weeks.
Lions hooker Martin Bezuidenhout will join the DHL Stormers at the start of next week, as injury cover up front.
It is being speculated that John Smit is being considered as possible cover at hooker for the start to the Stormers season.
Schalk Burger has been confirmed by Stormers management as the Captain for 2013.
DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee wore a broad smile on his face after the second day of training at the squad’s High Performance Centre base in Bellville on Tuesday.
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.