Worcestershire Sauce

More than mid table please


Written by Stu Cooper (Worcestershire Sauce)

Posted in :Original Content, Stormers on 12 Feb 2008 at 11:09

The Stormers have a new coach, a new captain and a squad that has talent on paper but always one that comes with question marks.

The Stormers squad can thankfully look forward after the Van der Merwe years, where some of the worst years of rugby seen at Newlands bar any Saturday Gus Theron started, have been paraded as entertainment

Lets start with the draw

At first glance the Stormers have a good draw, but their first two home matches are against the Bulls – Champs, and the third place and arguably the best team to ever grace super rugby – the Crusaders. Slip in a tough fixture against the Sharks in Durban and the gloss comes off. Three losses and the four week tour starts looking like a ticker tape through hell.

The Reds, Chiefs, Blues and the Force make the tour a back and forth ANZAC nightmare. Realistically the first game will be targeted for a win but given the nature of SA sides touring abilities and the Stormers woeful form for the past few seasons i am hesitant to be certain about anything.

The Chiefs are always better than they look. The Blues are the one team the Stormers do seem to win against but again – an away team with a poor start isn’t going to trouble anyone except the barman at whatever hotel they are hiding in. The Force if they can survive their drinking and fighting scandals and show the form they showed last seasons are not the five points everyone always assumed they would be in their first couple of years of Super rugby.

The rest of the draw is at home against the Cheetahs, Canes, Highlanders, Brumbies and Waratahs with a finish against the Lions away in Jozi.

If anything can be said about this season, its that a good start will make it slightly more pleasant one, but a bad start and it could all be over by week six.

The Squad

Rassie made a couple of interesting off season purchases in Brian Mujati and Adriaan Fonse. The latter’s name being whispered in Tshwane before he got a hair stylist and moved to Cape Town. Mujati, although injury prone has created some good hype via his performances in his debut season for the Lions and will be interesting to see how he fares down in the Cape. I am still searching for a reason as to why Ricky Januarie and Wylie Human are in Cape Town, but i will give Rassie the benefit of the doubt and one could argue that he added some experience to both positions.

Hopefully the ever injured Tonderaai Chanvanga and Andries Bekker can get through more than four weeks of rugby before returning to the physio table as one will add grunt and the other some sorely lacking pace.

The loose forwards are a mix of young and seriously talented individuals lead by the indomitable Schalk Burger. It will be interesting to see who Rassie actually plays and how they fare against some of the beasts you find lurking in the back row when visiting New Zealand.

The midfield and the team will be lead by Jean and hopefully he can find that attacking flair that made everyone think we had a found a new messiah at twelve, one who could pass and take a gap as opposed to run at the nearest opposition player and try and tackle him while retaining possession.

Naas has thankfully acknowledged that Cape Town was not his best decision and he took early retirement in France, hopefully it will benefit more than his bank balance. Peter Grant has the ten jersey for the first three weeks and the kid is talented but it will amount to nothing if the pack don’t give him the front foot ball he plays so well off. Ishma-Eel Dollie is by nature an attacking flyhalf who has fared well at all age levels bar senior, a lack of size the often touted excuse for his lack of game time but hopefully 2008 he can show what he can do and get regular game time. We can also expect Tony Brown at some point and if anything he will assure the Stormers of at least three points.

So the the verdict from a perennially disappointed Stormers fan…..

I don’t expect the Stormers to win the Super 14 but i would like to see a few things, that Newlands becomes a feared destination again, not the five point visit with some great tourist attractions – winning at home needs to be non-negotiable. Score four tries, the wins will surely follow, but more than anything i would like to see the players play with a bit of heart and pride in their team.

Something sorely lacking for the past few years



25 Comments

  • Very well-written article Sauce and I agree with your sentiments 100%.

    If the Stormers just look like they’re willing to give it their all I’ll be more than happy.

    Too many times in the last few years the guys have left the field with bowed heads but still too much left in the tank.

  • Comment 1, posted at 12.02.08 11:37:23 by VinceChainSaw Reply
    Author
    VinChainSawTeam captain
     
  • You guys hear the rumour about Schalk Brits?

  • Comment 2, posted at 12.02.08 11:42:27 by robdylan Reply
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  • Nice work sauce.

    Apparently Tondi had an imbalance in his legs that caused him to breakdown every time, lets hope the problem is sorted as his pace will not be a bad thing.Last i saw he put on some muscle as well.

    Have to admit i don’t know anything about Fondse so can someone please tell me what all the hype is about,does he really bring some grunt or what?

  • Comment 3, posted at 12.02.08 11:46:14 by provincejoulekkading Reply
    Administrator
    Clayton(PJLD)Team captain
     
  • Great article.

    Share the rumour rob.

    Stormers have some big forwards – there seems no reason on paper why they should be soft. Im interested to see how this pans out.

  • Comment 4, posted at 12.02.08 11:48:24 by Big Fish Reply
    Author
    Big FishAssistant coach
     
  • Nope

  • Comment 5, posted at 12.02.08 11:49:21 by provincejoulekkading Reply
    Administrator
    Clayton(PJLD)Team captain
     
  • Good read…

    No what rumour Robbo?

  • Comment 6, posted at 12.02.08 11:50:03 by bryce_in_oz Reply

    bryce_in_ozCurrie Cup player
     
  • apparently Ras might play him at 8…

  • Comment 7, posted at 12.02.08 11:52:16 by robdylan Reply
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  • funny – it’s only Ozzies that call me “Robbo”… :cool:

  • Comment 8, posted at 12.02.08 11:54:07 by robdylan Reply
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  • And Luke at 2 ? :shock:

    Im alot more comfortable with Brits at 16, or even seat 16 row H.

  • Comment 9, posted at 12.02.08 11:54:24 by provincejoulekkading Reply
    Administrator
    Clayton(PJLD)Team captain
     
  • I dont mind Brits at 8, think it might just work.

    Just dont think you can play him at 8 AND Puke in the same side.

    Unless you’re playing in The Shire of course.

  • Comment 10, posted at 12.02.08 11:57:23 by VinceChainSaw Reply
    Author
    VinChainSawTeam captain
     
  • Liebenberg and Shimmie at 2. Luke at left behind

  • Comment 11, posted at 12.02.08 12:02:15 by robdylan Reply
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  • Brits at 8?

    I dont think it would work – too short and stocky for my liking – more like an opensider’s build.

    Luke will probably be very good at 8 – was quick, good ball skills, strong on his feet, got vision, can count to 8 too.

  • Comment 12, posted at 12.02.08 12:03:43 by Big Fish Reply
    Author
    Big FishAssistant coach
     
  • Rassie likes short 8s and two fetchers…

  • Comment 13, posted at 12.02.08 12:09:01 by robdylan Reply
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  • I’ve met Brits and the guy really isnt very big.

    I’m not a big guy and I reckon he’s about my size, maybe a few centimetres taller.

  • Comment 14, posted at 12.02.08 12:13:56 by VinceChainSaw Reply
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    VinChainSawTeam captain
     
  • you are a shorty, vin ;)

  • Comment 15, posted at 12.02.08 12:17:33 by robdylan Reply
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  • Eggzactelly dude.

  • Comment 16, posted at 12.02.08 12:17:58 by VinceChainSaw Reply
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    VinChainSawTeam captain
     
  • True – I also met him, and he isn’t the biggest, hence my doubts.

    An 8 should be quick, big, or a bit of both. He isn’t.

  • Comment 17, posted at 12.02.08 12:20:50 by Big Fish Reply
    Author
    Big FishAssistant coach
     
  • An 8 should be quick, big, or a bit of both.

    You can’t expect them ALL to be Kanko, dude :)

  • Comment 18, posted at 12.02.08 12:29:31 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • yeah, he does have the full package.

    As long as he spent some time with a catching coach… :grin:

  • Comment 19, posted at 12.02.08 12:32:01 by Big Fish Reply
    Author
    Big FishAssistant coach
     
  • Kantcatchski? He he…

  • Comment 20, posted at 12.02.08 12:35:04 by robdylan Reply
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  • yoh, helluva set of opening fixtures.
    Bulls, crusaders and sharks (in durban).

    got to fancy the stormers for above mid-table with rassie.

  • Comment 21, posted at 12.02.08 14:57:59 by cab Reply

    cabVodacom Cup player
     
  • where some of the worst years of rugby seen at Newlands bar any Saturday Gus Theron started, have been paraded as entertainment

    Am not sure whether that indicates it was BETTER or WORSE when Theron started? :smile:

  • Comment 22, posted at 12.02.08 17:32:00 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • did Gus ever actually don a Sharks jersey, btw?

  • Comment 23, posted at 12.02.08 17:36:02 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • If anything can be said about this season, its that a good start will make it slightly more pleasant one, but a bad start and it could all be over by week six.

    YIP!!!!!! Have been saying just that, myself. If these guys can start on a good win they will be very dangerous.

  • Comment 24, posted at 12.02.08 17:59:13 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • good article.

    MAN!!!! taking almost 40 minutes to read an article is JUST not on.

    I need to get off site and back in the office so i can spend more time online and not be playing catchup in the evening :sad:

  • Comment 25, posted at 12.02.08 18:07:48 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     

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