KSA Shark ©

Are the Stormers desperate?

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :Original Content, Stormers, Super 14 on 26 Mar 2008 at 08:18

Tiaan Liebenberg must be very close to getting a few free flights with whichever airline rewards package package he is on.

Liebenberg left to tour with the Stormers on 1 March for their four match tour of Australasia only to return to South Africa, four days after arriving in Brisbane.

The Stormers camp informed us that following the result of scans, which revealed the seriousness of the groin injury, it was decided that Liebenberg must return home to South Africa for rehabilitation. and that Western Province Vodacom Cup hooker Deon Fourie was flying over to Brisbane to provide cover.

Yesterday the Stormers website informed us that Vodacom Stormers hooker Tiaan Liebenberg, who withdrew ahead of the Reds clash three weeks ago, has been declared fit and will head to Perth to rejoin his team today.

Surely he will only arrive in Perth on Wednesday evening some time giving him less than 48 hours to get over any jetlag he may have suffered and then be expected to perform at his peak on Friday night.

He will surely be playing on Friday, because why else would you fly a hooker out to arrive in Perth just three days before your team is due to return to South Africa for a “bye” week after a four week Australasian tour?

Does Rassie Erasmus not have any confidence in his current hookers on tour or is this just plain reactionary management?


  • Ashfak Mohamed in the Cape Times.

    Brits: Just to be on the field is great

    Schalk Brits says fellow hooker Tiaan Liebenberg’s superb form at the start of the Super 14 has brought “the best out of him” on the Stormers’ Australasian tour.

    Brits has been outstanding since getting an opportunity to start his first game of the season against the Reds.

    Tiaan Liebenberg had been rested anyway for the Reds match, but then had to return home after sustaining a thigh injury. This gave Brits an extended run of games and he has taken his opportunity well.

    He has been a threat in broken play with his stepping and his startling speed for a hooker. He has also been consistent with basics such as throwing into the lineouts, and has improved his work rate in the tight loose and cleaning out at the breakdown points.

    “Teabag (Liebenberg) played very well up to his injury, and his form has also brought the best out of me. Deon Fourie has also stepped up since arriving on tour. We are lucky to have such good hookers in the Stormers squad,” Brits said from Perth this week.

    “It has been nice to get on to the field and start games. I really enjoy it out there and want to help the team to win.”

    Brits was initially used as a loose forward off the bench by Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus at the start of the season. While he still preferred to play at hooker, Brits said he was open to trying new positions. “Rassie decides who plays where. For me, just to be on the field is great, whether it is at No 8 or even at centre!

    “There are so few set phases nowadays anyway, so it doesn’t make such a huge difference where you line up. It is an advantage to be able to play both at hooker and loose forward. It allows me to fill in if needed in the loose trio, especially if there are injuries.”

    The Stormers will face tough opponents in the Western Force in Perth on Friday, and although the Force are renowned for their backline’s attacking play, Brits says that the Australians’ forwards will also be a difficult challenge to overcome.

    Veteran lock and captain Nathan Sharpe is a superb jumper in the lineouts and is an experienced Wallaby, while loose forwards David Pocock and Richard Brown have impressed with their linking with the backs. Hooker Tai McIsaac also has Wallaby colours.

    “They certainly have a strong pack,” said Brits. “In fact, they have a great team with a great coach in John Mitchell. What he has done with that team in just three years is excellent. They are a young team, but they do have a bit of experience now in Super 14. They are playing really good rugby this year.”

    The Force are currently in fourth position on the log after six matches, but crucially, they have only played one match at home.

    Meanwhile, Liebenberg flew to Australia yesterday to join up with the Stormers squad for the Force match, replacing utility back Joe Pietersen, who has a hamstring injury. Liebenberg is likely to replace Fourie on the bench.

    The Stormers team will be named on Wednesday.

  • Comment 1, posted at 26.03.08 08:50:44 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • He’ll most probably be on the bench.

  • Comment 2, posted at 26.03.08 08:52:29 by racheltjiedebeer Reply
  • I would hope he is only on the bench considering how soon before the match he arrives in Perth, but why fly him out if the two hookers you have on tour at the moment have given you what must be your best result ever on tour and you are coming home in a few days in anycase.

  • Comment 3, posted at 26.03.08 08:55:21 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Maybe he has family in Perth?

  • Comment 4, posted at 26.03.08 08:58:26 by racheltjiedebeer Reply
  • this tells me the Stormers want to win this game badly… taking every possible advantage into account…Liebenberg has shown he can make a difference

  • Comment 5, posted at 26.03.08 16:18:47 by spykerbaard Reply

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