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.
Rebels (6) 24 / Force (9) 27 (Final Score)
The Melbourne Rebels hosted the Western Force at AAMI Stadium, Melbourne at 11:40 SA Time. This was the match thread for discussion of the game. The match was broadcast live on SuperSport 1, SHD & CSN on TV in SA.
In a dour match which only really came alight deep in the second half, the Western Force held on to win by 3 points.
SANZAR has resolved travel challenges that have threatened to disrupt fixtures in the final Round of the Super Rugby regular season this weekend .
The Western Force has withdrawn from talks with James O’Connor’s management after further intensive negotiations failed to find common ground on contract length and remuneration.
An ankle injury will bring to an end Nathan Sharpe’s run of 53 consecutive games for the Western Force after club medical staff ruled him out for two weeks.
Western Force (16) 21 / Reds (14) 24 (Final Score)
Highlanders (14) 14 / Force (3) 21 (Final Score)
The Highlanders hosted the Western Force at Carisbrook Stadium, Dunedin at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ local time). This was the match thread for discussion of the game. The match was broadcast live on SuperSport 1, SHD & M-Net on TV in SA.
The Highlanders were simply blown off the field in the second half by a very gutsy Western Force side. Ideal result for the sides from South Africa with aspirations for the play-off’s.
Hurricanes (10) 34 / Force (18) 28 (Final Score)
The Hurricanes hosted the Western Force at FMG Stadium, Palmerston at 09:35 SA Time. This was the match Thread for discussion of the game. The match was broadcast live on SuperSport 1, SHD & CSN on TV in SA.
After a diabolical start, the Hurricanes rallied to grit out a bonus point win against a gutsy Western Force side.
Force (10) 13 / Brumbies (10) 13 (Final Score)
The Western Force hosted the Brumbies at NIB Stadium, Perth at 14:05 SA Time. This was the match thread for discussion of the game. The match was broadcast live on SuperSport 1, SHD & M-Net on TV in SA.
They say a draw is like kissing your sister, well this game was bad enough that it was rather like kissing your UGLY sister.