On Saturday 13 March 2010 the Vodacom Stormers stuffed a sweaty sock into the mouths of those who chose to criticise their progress through the S14 so far.
The talk leading up to this fixture was that the All Black laden Hurricanes were going to blow the Stormers away in their own backyard using their much vaunted pack , their physical strike runners and the large support base they enjoy in the cape.
The talk from the cape side was just that they had done nothing yet this season and they are working on their weaknesses.
They continued this “radio silence” by ditching the usual loud traffic escort and replacing it with 2 vehicles of the cape “ghost squad” arriving in silence at Newlands looking very composed and focused and not paying any attention to the jeers of the hordes of all black/ hurricanes supporting folks suffering from a sever case of identity crisis.
The Newlands faithful were not be outdone and pitched up in their droves to support the Stormers who have looked all season as if they were on the brink of something special, entire families arrived clad in Stormers gear, individuals in body paint ran around hyping the crowd and Stormers flags were flying proud.
At kick off time the air of expectation was almost unbearable and the crowd of 44 350 burst into applause as the teams took to the field and from the kickoff it was all Stormers as they set about taking the Hurricanes apart in all aspects of the game, beating them both physically and tactically.
The Stormers defence again showed that they are not to be messed with in this years competition putting in massive hit and employing the 2 on 1 tackle to good effect.Somebody must have sat Andries Bekker down and told him that if he wants to keep his sideburns and neon boots this season he is going to have to add physicality to his game, the big man must be really fond of those items as he has really put in hit after bone crunching hit at the tackles and rucks silencing many critics, myself included.
As well as winning most of the collisions it appears as many players have taken to offloading in the tackle or least looking to make the offload before going to ground, Andries Bekker, Francois Louw and even the props could all be seen checking for options at the tackle and of course Sireli Naqelivuki and Joe Pietersons tries came from offloads and good support running , Sireli and Joes tries almost mirror images of each other with just the finishers swapping roles.
The Hurricanes became very frustrated at the way the game was developing and handbags started being flung around at regular intervals with Rodney So’oialo always involved, not sure how he escaped being cautioned by the ref as he was a serial offender.
Sireli Naqelivuki, the villian of last years CC semi final defeat to the Bulls at Loftus has set about reclaiming the form of 2006 that made him the darling of Newlands, the Fijian appears to have had a change of attitude and work ethic and is full of running and looking for work.He also put Corey Jane to sleep and out of rugby for two weeks after running through the Hurricanes 15.Two good performances in a row resulted in a man of the match award for the Fijian sailor.
The Hurricanes managed to work a try in the 68th minutes as well as the 80th, being the first team to get two tries past the Stormers this season but the game was over as a contest well before then, with the bonus point already having being sown up and Jaque Fourie having scored a 5th for the Cape side.
The final score on the night was 37-13
Try scorers : Stormers Joe Pieterson, Sireli Naqelivui, Duane Vermuelen, Brok Harris and Jaque Fouries
Hurricanes David Smith and Tyson Keats
Attendance : 43 350Tweet