Vodacom-Red-VIP140x525

Stormers

Super RugbyWith only 2 points separating 4 of the South African franchises on the Vodacom Super Rugby log after 8 weeks of play, Round 9 of the competition will again be crucial for local teams, with the derby in Johannesburg between the Emirates Lions and Cell C Sharks set to attract huge interest from spectators.

The remaining 3 South African sides play Australian opponents on Saturday, with the DHL Stormers taking on the Waratahs in Sydney, the Toyota Cheetahs playing the Western Force in Perth and the Vodacom Bulls closing out a big weekend of rugby in their Pretoria clash against the Reds.

The DHL Stormers will be looking for a 1st tour win against the defending champion Waratahs, knowing that the home side has won 12 of their last 13 matches in Sydney, with a victory margin of 18 points per match.

The Toyota Cheetahs will still be chasing a 1st overseas win in 2015, when they close out their tour against the Western Force at the NIB Stadium in Perth. The Cheetahs have won at this venue in the past, but will have to defend like never before.

They average the most missed tackles in the competition, while the home side maintains the best tackling success rate (90%).

The Emirates Lions host the Cell C Sharks at Emirates Airline Park in the only South African derby of the weekend, which is expected to be a fiercely contested clash. The home team is well aware that a win could push them into 1st place in the South African conference, albeit that the Vodacom Bulls could again overhaul them later in the evening.

The Cell C Sharks will be desperate to put their recent misfortunes behind them and win away from home.

The Vodacom Bulls take on the Reds, who despite not having the greatest of seasons, have a good record against the Loftus Versfeld team, winning 10 of their 16 encounters. Continue reading

Juan de Jongh

Juan de Jongh

Centre Juan de Jongh has recovered from an ankle injury and will lead the DHL Stormers in their 3rd Vodacom Super Rugby tour match of 2015 – against the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday.

De Jongh was an 11th hour withdrawal from the team last weekend, but he is fit to take his place in the No 13 shirt this week and assume the leadership responsibilities in the absence of Duane Vermeulen, who is back in South Africa as part of the rest agreement with SA Rugby.

Continue reading

WaratahsWaratahs Head Coach Michael Cheika has named an unchanged starting side for the match against the DHL Stormers, with Adam Ashley-Cooper and Tatafu Polota-Nau named to return from injury via the bench.

Ashley-Cooper has been sidelined for almost 2 months with a rare knee injury but has finally been deemed fit and will return to the substitutes bench.

Polota-Nau will be returning to the field after suffering a head knock at training weeks ago.

As we have become used to in 2015, coach Michael Cheika has named 2 Extra Players on the bench, for the bench to be finalized and reduced closer to game time.

Continue reading

Duane Vermeulen

Duane Vermeulen

Influential DHL Stormers captain Duane Vermeulen will return to Cape Town for a further 2-week rest period.

The hard-working No 8 has been in outstanding form for the DHL Stormers in 2015, but he will head home from Sydney on Sunday as part of the agreed SA Rugby rest period, which affects the top Springboks in this, a Rugby World Cup season.

“It’s a big one for us… it was a big decision to make,” explained DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee.

“However, it is something we discussed and have been planning since the start of the season,” he added, “the intention was always for Duane to spend the 1st 2 weeks on tour and then to head home and be ready for the final part of our season.

“We will of course miss him against the Waratahs and the Force but when we get home his rest period will be over and we will have him back in tow for a crucial part of the season.”

Continue reading

Eben Etzebeth

Eben Etzebeth

Duane Vermeulen

Duane Vermeulen

Duane Vermeulen will assume the DHL Stormers captaincy, as well as the No 8 jersey, for Friday’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the top of the table – and unbeaten – Hurricanes team in Wellington (kick-off 08:35 SA Time).

The influential No 8 missed last week’s 21 / 39 loss to the Highlanders in Dunedin as part of the SA franchises’ rest agreement with SA Rugby, but he returns this week in 1 of 2 changes to the DHL Stormers 15.

The 2nd change, also up front, sees fellow Springbok hardman Eben Etzebeth take over the No 4 jersey from Jean Kleyn, the latter dropping out of the matchday squad altogether – along with Nizaam Carr, who did duty at No 8 last week.

On the bench, meanwhile, lock Ruan Botha will take over the No 19 jersey vacated by Etzebeth in an otherwise unchanged replacements’ unit.

Continue reading

Schalk Burger receives a Highlanders No 7 jersey after his 100th Super Rugby game

Schalk Burger receives a Highlanders No 7 jersey after his 100th Super Rugby game

DHL Stormers flank Schalk Burger received a special gift from the Highlanders after playing his 100th Super Rugby game.

Burger reached the milestone during the Stormers’ clash with the Highlanders at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin last Saturday.

Despite the Stormers going down 39 / 21, Burger will have fond memories of the occasion.

Continue reading

Kurt Coleman

Kurt Coleman

Demetri Catrakilis

Demetri Catrakilis

The return of Duane Vermeulen as No 8 and captain will provide a significant boost for a DHL Stormers team that too quickly drifted away from their planned structured approach against the Highlanders, but a change may be necessary at flyhalf if they are to challenge the Hurricanes on Good Friday.

The Stormers went down 39 / 21 to the Highlanders in what can be described as an abjectly disappointing start to their tour. But for the first 20 minutes at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin they looked well on track to maintain their long winning sequence against the south island franchise that dates back to 2007, with the Stormers, playing off a strong 1st-phase platform, sticking to a tight structured game that minimised turn-over opportunities for their dangerous opponents.

However, once they had gone into a 7 / 0 lead through a converted Juan de Jongh try, it all went pear shaped for the Stormers, with Dillyn Leyds dropping a ball at the restart following the try and from there the Highlanders engineered a try that was the turning point in the game. When the Stormers became loose it played into the Highlanders’ hands.

Perhaps the return of Duane Vermeulen will change that, for the regular captain, who was rested for the opening tour match as per the agreement with Saru about the management of Springboks, is strict about sticking to structures and he is also a player who adds to the team’s ability to physically suffocate opponents.

But the Stormers may need more than that, for it was apparent, even in those opening minutes, that they lacked something from structured attack and were just way too predictable. Even when they did score their opening try off a long multi-phased build-up they nearly butchered it. It was a fortunate bounce off an opposing player’s hands that was responsible for De Jongh being able to break through and score after the move appeared to have broken down.

Much of the Stormers’ problem appeared to revolve around their backs lining up too deep on attack, something that may be sourced in Demetri Catrakilis being less inclined to take the ball at the line than Kurt Coleman is. The latter came on in the 2nd half and the Stormers looked a lot more potent on attack when he was there.

Continue reading

Super RugbyThe Vodacom Bulls delivered their top performance of the season as the Emirates Lions recorded their best Vodacom Super Rugby tour yet during an exciting weekend of Southern Hemisphere rugby.

The match in Pretoria was the undoubted highlight of the weekend from a quality point of view, with the Vodacom Bulls extending their winning run at home over the Crusaders after winning 31 / 19.

For sheer audacity, the Emirates Lions deserve a lot of plaudits for beating the Reds by 18 / 17 in Brisbane on Friday morning and thus ending their tour on 3 wins from 4 – their best Australasian return yet.

The Cell C Sharks meanwhile moved to the Top of the South African Conference and into the Top 3 on the log with a hard-fought 15 / 9 win over the Force in Durban on Saturday afternoon, scoring all their points in the 2nd half.

The Toyota Cheetahs and DHL Stormers found the going tough in New Zealand though as both went down – the side from Central South Africa by 37 / 27 to the Chiefs in Hamilton and the Capetonians by 39 / 21 to the Highlanders in Dunedin.

Continue reading

Allister Coetzee

Allister Coetzee

DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee was disappointed with his team’s showing against the Highlanders, but he still believes they have what it takes to play winning rugby on their 2015 Vodacom Super Rugby tour.

The DHL Stormers went down 21 / 39 to the Highlanders in Dunedin earlier today and were unable to give flanker Schalk Burger the win they all craved in his 100th game for the Cape-based franchise.

“I am very disappointed,” Coetzee told www.iamastormer.com on Saturday evening (NZ time), “this wasn’t what we wanted for Schalk in his 100th match and it certainly wasn’t what we wanted in our 1st tour match.

Continue reading

Schalk Burger

Schalk Burger

Centre Juan de Jongh will captain the DHL Stormers in their 2015 Vodacom Super Rugby tour-opener against the Highlanders at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday.

De Jongh takes over the leadership reins from No 8 Duane Vermeulen, who is being rested as per the franchise agreement with SA Rugby, whilst Schalk Burger comes in for his first start of 2015 and will take over the vice-captaincy.

Aside from backing up De Jongh in the leadership department, Burger will also be making his 100th appearance in a DHL Stormers jersey – having made his debut against the Waratahs in Cape Town on 13 March 2004.

The 31-year-old Springbok star joins Andries Bekker (2013) and Jean de Villiers and Peter Grant (both 2014) in reaching this impressive landmark for the men from the Cape and DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee paid tribute to the team’s “ultimate warrior”.

“I don’t think people realise exactly what Schalk went through in 2012 and 2013, first with his knee injury and then his illness,” Coetzee said.

Continue reading

Schalk Burger

Schalk Burger

DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has hinted that veteran Schalk Burger could be in line for a return to the openside flank role that he filled for so long for the Springboks, but it would require a big shift in emphasis for the 2004 winner of the IRB World Rugby Player of the Year Award.

Coetzee finds himself faced with a difficult balancing act as he considers his loose-forward options of Saturday’s opening Vodacom Super Rugby tour match against the Highlanders in Dunedin. Duane Vermeulen, who brings so much of the necessary drive and physicality to the back row, is being rested as per the agreement with Saru geared towards effective management of Springboks.

That means that Nizaam Carr will move from openside flank to No 8, something that Coetzee confirmed in an interview with the Cape media from the team hotel in Dunedin. Carr played for the Boks in that position last year and was 1 of the form players in the Currie Cup for the title winning Western Province team, but having him at the back of the scrum does bring a different dynamic to the back row.

Continue reading

Duane Vermeulen

Duane Vermeulen

Regular captain and No 8 Duane Vermeulen is the only member of the DHL Stormers touring squad that will not be available for selection for Saturday’s opening game of the 4 day trip against the Highlanders at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has reported to the Cape rugby media via telephone conference hook-up that the squad has settled down well on the South Island in New Zealand – they are actually in the resort town of Queenstown currently – and that every player in the 27 man squad is fully fit and ready to play.

That means that Louis Schreuder, who was concussed against the Chiefs in the last match, has passed his cognitive tests, while big lock Eben Etzebeth and the inform blindside flank Michael Rhodes have both recovered from the injuries that have kept them out of the last few Stormers games.

Continue reading

Duane Vermeulen

Duane Vermeulen

If there was ever a good time for Stormers coach Allister Coetzee to rest captain Duane Vermeulen it is now.

The SA Player of the Year was always going to have to miss the 1st game of the Stormers tour against the Highlanders, having played 5 straight games at the start of the season, but having 4 wins under the belt and plenty of loose forward depth at his disposal does make it easier for Coetzee to give him the time off.

The plan was always to give Vermeulen an extended break with the BYE this week followed by a week off in Dunedin, as part of SARU’s request that top Springboks be given regular games off to manage their workload this season ahead of the World Cup.

Coetzee admitted that it may be tougher to rest Vermeulen when there is more pressure on later in the season, but for now he is happy to stick to the plan.

Continue reading

DHL StormersThe DHL Stormers have announced a 27-man touring squad for their upcoming trip to Australasia, which will see them take on the Highlanders, the Hurricanes, the Waratahs and the Western Force on their 2015 Vodacom Super Rugby away trip.

Captain Duane Vermeulen will lead a squad with no selection surprises and a playing group which includes hooker Bongi Mbonambi, prop Oli Kebble, lock Eben Etzebeth, flank Mike Rhodes and wing Johnny Kotze – all of whom did not play against the Chiefs at the weekend.

The only player unavailable because of injury is hard-working flanker Rynhardt Elstadt (broken leg – suffered against the Blues in Round 2), with DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee rightfully rewarding those players who have served the team so well thus far in 2015.

Continue reading

Eben Etzebeth

Eben Etzebeth

Jean Kleyn

Jean Kleyn

Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth will not head abroad after this year’s Rugby World Cup, the Western Province Rugby Union has assured.

Reports in French media stated late last year that Etzebeth could join Toulon after the conclusion of this year’s World Cup.

However, Etzebeth is contracted to WP until 2016, which would see him stay in Cape Town until then.

Continue reading

Duane Vermeulen

Duane Vermeulen

Stormers captain Duane Vermeulen will not play in the team’s next Super Rugby match, against the Highlanders in Dunedin on 28 March.

Vermeulen played his 5th consecutive match for the Stormers when they hosted the Chiefs at Newlands this past weekend.

According an agreement between the SA Rugby Union and the Super Rugby franchises, key Springboks will not be allowed to play more than 5 games on the trot in this year’s competition, in order to keep them fresh for the Rugby World Cup later in the year.

This means centre Juan de Jongh will take over the captaincy for the game against the Highlanders, with Schalk Burger likely to be included in the starting team.

Continue reading

Nick Mallett

Nick Mallett

Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett says the DHL Stormers made wrong substitutions in their loss to the Chiefs at Newlands last Saturday.

The Stormers annihilated the Chiefs at scrum time, with Steven Kitshoff and Vincent Koch wrecking havoc.

The home side led 13 / 3 at one stage, but let things slip, eventually going down 28 / 19.

Alistair Vermaak and Frans Malherbe replaced Kitshoff and Koch in the 61st minute of the match, while Neil Rautenbach also replaced Scarra Ntubeni at hooker in the 63rd minute. These substitutions gave the Chiefs breathing room up front and enabled them to take control of proceedings.

Continue reading

DHL StormersChiefsThe Chiefs inflicted the DHL Stormers’ first defeat of the Super Rugby season, winning 28 / 19 in Cape Town on Saturday.

In a pulsating encounter, the former champions outscored their hosts 3 tries to 1, with flyhalf Aaron Cruden chipping in with 18 points, scoring a try and setting up another along the way.

The result moves the Chiefs level with the Hurricanes at the top of the New Zealand conference, 2 points behind the tournament-leading Brumbies in the overall standings. The Stormers are 2 points further adrift.

In front of a crowd of over 42 000, the Stormers led 16 / 13 at the interval.

Continue reading

Cheslin Kolbe

Cheslin Kolbe

There’s a lot of fuss being made in the Cape about where Cheslin Kolbe should be deployed in the DHL Stormers team following Nick Mallett’s comments from the Supersport studio that he should perhaps play scrumhalf because of his size.

There has also been some hysterical overreaction to the attention paid to Kolbe by Cell C Sharks centre Frans Steyn in the coastal derby last weekend.

However, when it comes to the player himself, and the management who decide where he plays, it is a case of all calm on the western front. Kolbe knows he is playing a physical sport where the gladiatorial attitude prevails, and that opposition targeting you just comes with the territory in rugby and can actually be seen as a compliment.

As for the coaches, they don’t agree with critics who, because they believe Kolbe is not featuring as much on the counter-attack as he did during last year’s Currie Cup, feel that he is not himself at present.

Continue reading

Eben Etzebeth

Eben Etzebeth

The Stormers are sweating over the availability of Eben Etzebeth after the Springbok lock injured his shoulder in their 29 / 13 Super Rugby win over the Sharks at Newlands last weekend.

“Lock Eben Etzebeth took a bang on his shoulder against the Sharks which has affected his previous (chest) injury a bit, which is normal for 2 injuries in such close proximity. He is a bit uncomfortable and a call will be made on his participation later this week,” read a statement on the Stormers’ official website.

Etzebeth missed the entire 2014 Super Rugby season with an ankle injury, and was sidelined for the first 3 games on this year’s campaign following a chest injury sustained in pre-season.

Continue reading

Michael Rhodes

Michael Rhodes

Saracens are delighted to announce the signing of Michael Rhodes from the Stormers.

Michael Rhodes, the Stormers and Western Province forward, will join Saracens at the start of next season, adding South African power to the wolf pack.

Mark McCall, Director of Rugby, said: “We have some time ago identified Michael as a player who could  make significant contribution to the squad, playing in the second row or the back row, carrying the ball and we are confident we can provide an environment where he will realise his full potential. We’re delighted he will be joining us next season.”

Continue reading

Sam Cane

Sam Cane

The Chiefs may have felt they deserved to win against the Highlanders after dominating play, but that is behind them as they now focus on their tour to South Africa.

The Chiefs next match is away in Cape Town against the undefeated DHL Stormers on 14 March, they then travel up the coast to Durban to take on the Cell C Sharks in what is sure to be a tough tour.

The South Africa opposition does not end there as their 1st fixture back home is to the traveling Cheetahs.

Continue reading

DHL Stormers vs Cell C Sharks

The DHL Stormers remained unbeaten and still Top of the South African Conference, by defeating the Sharks 34 / 13 in a feisty derby.

A super solo score by Johnny Kotze and a Penalty Try against Springbok scrumhalf Cobus Reinach, wrapped up a deserved win for the Stormers, their 4th of the season.

It’s early days but the Stormers now look like South Africa’s best hope of a Super Rugby title in 2015, based on their start to the year and the questionable form of their rivals.

When it mattered, their growing composure shone through in Cape Town, undaunted by the larger number of Springboks in the Sharks’ ranks.

Continue reading

Schalk Burger

Schalk Burger

Eben Etzebeth and Schalk Burger have both been named in the DHL Stormers’ 23-man squad for Saturday’s all-South African Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Sharks at DHL Newlands (kick-off 19:10 SA Time, 17:10 GMT).

Etzebeth picked up a chest injury during pre-season action in late January and will make his first competitive appearance for the DHL Stormers since July 2013, whilst Burger, named on the bench, is back in the selection mix after returning from his club rugby commitments in Japan.

Continue reading

Super RugbyThe Toyota Cheetahs, Vodacom Bulls and DHL Stormers were victorious in 3 terrific Vodacom Super Rugby matches, as the competition really took off in the 3rd Round.

On Friday evening, the Toyota Cheetahs sneaked home against the Blues in Bloemfontein, winning their 2nd match of the season by 25 / 24 to remain 1 of only 4 unbeaten teams in 2015.

Saturday saw 2 local derbies of the highest calibre, with Test-like intensity. Mirrroing the encounter in Bloemfontein, the results of both these matches were in the balance right until the end.

The Vodacom Bulls prodcued their maiden win of the season when they beat the Cell C Sharks by 43 / 35 in a superb match in Pretoria. Then the DHL Stormers clocked their 3rd win from 3 matches when they beat the Emirates Lions by 22 / 19 in Johannesburg.

Continue reading

Michael Rhodes

Michael Rhodes

The injury list for the DHL Stormers is growing following the addition of 3 more players after the hard won victory over the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Locks Jurie Van Vuuren, Ruan Botha and Flank Michael Rhodes all picked up injuries and will be assessed in the coming days.

Continue reading

Nizaam Carr

Nizaam Carr

Forwards Bongi Mbonambi and Nizaam Carr have been named in the DHL Stormers starting 15 for Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Lions at Emirates Airlines Park (kick-off 19:10 SA Time, 17:10 GMT).

Mbonambi will make his first start for the DHL Stormers in a rotational change at hooker, with Scarra Ntubeni reverting to the bench, whilst Springbok loose forward Carr comes in for the injured Rynhardt Elstadt in the No 6 jersey.

Continue reading

Rynhardt Elstadt

Rynhardt Elstadt

Stormers flank Rynhardt Elstadt has officially been ruled out of action for at least 4 months – one of several players that will miss the trip to Johannesburg for an encounter with the on Saturday.

The loose forward suffered a leg fracture and further damage to his ankle in the win over the Blues at the weekend.

Elstadt left the field in the 37th minute, after falling awkwardly.

His injury – officially described as a maisonneuve fracture – will see him sidelined for at least 4 months.

Continue reading

DHL StormersThe DHL Stormers got their 2nd win of the season, a 27 / 16 triumph over the Blues at a sun-bathed Newlands on Saturday.

It is a win that will be both celebrated and loathed.

The celebration will be for the 4 points on the standings. The negative side will be because the Blues were reduced to 14 men for 55 minutes and the home team should have won by a much larger margin.

The game was turned on its head in the 25th minute, when veteran Blues lock Hayden Triggs was spotted punching Stormers captain Duane Vermeulen – not once, but twice – and Red-carded, leaving his team a man down for a large chunk of the match.

Continue reading

Hayden Triggs Red Carded for punching Duane Vermeulen

Hayden Triggs Red Carded for punching Duane Vermeulen

Veteran Blues lock Hayden Triggs will front up to a SANZAR disciplinary hearing, after he received a Red Card for punching during his team’s Super Rugby loss to the Stormers.

Triggs stands accused of having contravened Law 10.4 (a): Punching or striking.

It follows an incident that occurred in the 24th minute of the match between the DHL Stormers and Blues at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday.

The case is to be considered in the first instance by SANZAR duty judicial officer Robert Stelzner.

Continue reading

UserOnline

Users: 5 Guests, 7 Bots


SAAAC

Rugby-Talk Super Rugby 2015

Pool Name: Rugby-Talk Super Rugby 2015

Pool Code: muffrein

Rule: You HAVE TO BE REGISTERED (as a Subscriber here on www.rugby-talk.com) to be eligible for acceptance in the Rugby-Talk pools on SuperBru.

The Pool is now CLOSED for new Applications.


Bam Advert

Archives