KSA Shark ©

Stormers campaign will be decided by Lions – AGAIN

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, Lions, Stormers, Super 14 on 10 Mar 2009 at 08:37

Last year the Stormers came to the end of the Super 14 road when they played the Lions at Ellis Park in the last game of the competition, with their failure to secure a bonus point leaving them short of semi-final qualification.

As it turns out, it could also be against the Lions that the end of the track will be reached for the Stormers in this year’s competition – only it will be much earlier. For defeat against the Lions at Newlands this coming Saturday, the fifth match of the season, would surely leave the Stormers with too much to do if they hope to still qualify for the semi-finals.

Gavin Rich writes in the Cape Argus that the Cape team were unfortunate to lose 14-10 against the Bulls at Loftus at the weekend, with eight of the Bulls’ 14 points coming during the 10 minutes that Schalk Brits was in the sin-bin for an offence which may have been worthy of a penalty but not a yellow card.

Up until that point the Stormers were comprehensively winning the kicking game, which effectively meant that the Bulls were being beaten at their own game.

The Stormers tactics ensured that instead of getting early momentum, like they normally do against the Stormers, the Bulls were kept in their own half and kept in first gear.

By keeping the game in a holding pattern, which is effectively what they were doing, the altitude factor was negated in the second half – and this explains why for the first time this season the Stormers were the stronger team after half-time.

Against the Sharks, Blues and Reds the Stormers wilted in the last quarter, in those first two games chiefly because they had used up too much energy earlier in the match attacking from positions where it was not on to do so.

Some Bulls players and some members of their coaching staff have admitted in conversation subsequent to Saturday’s game that the Stormers approach frustrated them and that they were a concerned team when it was working for the Stormers.

That the kicking game had to be abandoned a little earlier than planned was down to the points scored by the Bulls while Brits was off, otherwise the Stormers could well have broken their drought at Loftus.

As it was, the Stormers came a great deal closer to beating the Bulls, and finished a lot stronger, than they have at that venue since 2003.

The bottom line though is that they didn’t win, and after four matches they have three defeats on their record.

Those who apply the “glass is half full” attitude to life will point out this is exactly where they were this time last year.

On the corresponding weekend in 2008, they had just scored their first win of the season, against the Reds in Brisbane.

But it was acknowledged by the Stormers management some time ago that two wins from the five games before they leave for tour would have to be the bare minimum requirement if they are to be still in contention. So a win against the Lions, which would lift them into the middle section of the log, is a bare minimum requirement.

What they really need is what they failed to get from their last two matches against the Lions, in the Super 14 and the Currie Cup – a full house of five log points by scoring four tries.

That is not beyond the realms of possibility if the Stormers retain their momentum in the aspects of the game where they were good at Loftus – the lineouts, the rucks and mauls, the scrums.

The kicking game, or the extent to which it was employed, was specific to the opponents at Loftus, so Peter Grant will probably return at flyhalf, but elements of what worked from the kicking game in the first half should also be retained.

This year’s Super 14 has provided overwhelming evidence that the best way to overcome organised defensive systems is to attack from territory.

Luke Watson’s excellent form, and he really was a thorn in the side of the Bulls at Loftus, should be a source of great hope for the Stormers management looking forward – but it should also give them something to think about.

With Watson now contributing so well to the Stormers at ruck-time, is it not time to consider moving him to openside flank, and shifting Schalk Burger to No 8, where he has periodically shown signs of great promise when he has played there, such as in a Barbarians game against Australia last year?


  • Most Log Points NOT to reach the Semi-finals
    41 Stormers 2008
    40 Brumbies 2007
    40 Chiefs 2007
    40 Blues 2008

  • Comment 1, posted at 10.03.09 08:52:30 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Fewest Log Points to reach the Semi-finals
    30 Natal Sharks 1997
    31 ACT Brumbies 2003
    32 Otago Highlanders 2000
    32 Cats 2000
    32 Queensland Reds 2001
    33 Natal Sharks 1996
    33 Canterbury Crusaders 1999
    33 Waikato Chiefs 2004
    33 Stormers 2004

  • Comment 2, posted at 10.03.09 08:54:12 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 2) : i think it will be more of this scenario the way some games are played 😕
    kicking kicking and kicking some more and then missing kicks 😕

  • Comment 3, posted at 10.03.09 08:59:22 by rekinek Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
  • @rekinek (Comment 3) :

    I also have a feeling the log points will be low for 3rd and 4th spot

  • Comment 4, posted at 10.03.09 09:03:12 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 4) : Day 5 Thread please. And I propose that NONE of us follow on the TV. Cricinfo’s ok. 😉

  • Comment 5, posted at 10.03.09 09:05:34 by klempie Reply

  • @klempie (Comment 5) :

    Where’s WPW when I need him???????? 😛 😉

    I’ll put it up in a sec. 🙂

  • Comment 6, posted at 10.03.09 09:08:06 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • You beckoned??? 😕 🙄

  • Comment 7, posted at 10.03.09 09:10:53 by wpw Reply
  • @klempie (Comment 5) :


  • Comment 8, posted at 10.03.09 09:12:55 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @wpw (Comment 7) :

    hey slow coach 😉

  • Comment 9, posted at 10.03.09 09:13:26 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 8) : I dont want to know until the new ball has been battered out of shape 😐

  • Comment 10, posted at 10.03.09 09:13:57 by rahul Reply

  • @rahul (Comment 10) : That’s my feeling too actually.

  • Comment 11, posted at 10.03.09 09:17:59 by klempie Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 9) : Were you talking to your avatar? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 12, posted at 10.03.09 09:23:29 by rahul Reply

  • @rahul (Comment 12) :

    Wow! That IS a low blow!!!

    I actually think PDV did a fine job last year… 👿

  • Comment 13, posted at 10.03.09 09:31:25 by wpw Reply
  • @rahul (Comment 12) : 😆

    Nope!!!!! He ain’t slow, He’ll be the 1st Saffa coach to win a Lions tour in 29 years

  • Comment 14, posted at 10.03.09 09:34:50 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @wpw (Comment 13) : @KSA Shark © (Comment 14) : Settle, just a joke 😛

  • Comment 15, posted at 10.03.09 09:37:31 by rahul Reply

  • @rahul (Comment 15) :

    WPW hasn’t had lunch yet he is a little testy. 😉

  • Comment 16, posted at 10.03.09 09:41:09 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Unfortunate to lose? Eish I would love to know what Rassie feeds the media in the Cape to keep them happy and at bay. 👿

    Rassie – the wonderboy – has won 15 out of 30 in this competition with the Stormers. To my mind that spells mediocrity.

    In a year were our championship credentials were trumped , we are 1 from 4 and languishing in 11th.

    And while the players haven’t exactly been standing up bar a one or two – the blame rests wih Rassie and his “innovative ideas” which appearsd to be play with ball as little as possible and hope to sneek a win.

    My faith is waning.

  • Comment 17, posted at 10.03.09 09:48:02 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • @Worcestershire Sauce (Comment 17) :


    I didn’t see the game but the bit about them being in the lead until Brits got binned and that they had to abandon the gameplan earlier than expected does make sense to me though.

  • Comment 18, posted at 10.03.09 09:57:23 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 16) :

    Did you just say I am tasty?? 😯

  • Comment 19, posted at 10.03.09 10:07:15 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 19) :

    Theeeeeeere you go thinking about food again. 😆 😆

  • Comment 20, posted at 10.03.09 10:08:46 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @wpw (Comment 19) :

    Have you ever heard the saying “He doesn’t need enemies, he does enough damage on his own” ? 😉

  • Comment 21, posted at 10.03.09 10:10:04 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 21) :

    Sorry what was that???

    I’m still thinking about food… 😳

  • Comment 22, posted at 10.03.09 10:17:29 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 22) : 😀

  • Comment 23, posted at 10.03.09 10:20:27 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • I’d be happy with a solid 80min performance and a win. Bonus points will be just that – a bonus.

  • Comment 24, posted at 10.03.09 10:30:01 by McLovin Reply

  • Anyway if they can’t roll over the Lions at Newlands they might as well withdraw.

  • Comment 25, posted at 10.03.09 10:30:39 by McLovin Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 18) : Thats why i asked what the hell Rassie is giving the media. The simple fact for all his tactical genuis we lost. No niceities needed with that.

  • Comment 26, posted at 10.03.09 10:41:04 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • @McLovin (Comment 25) : Agreed.

  • Comment 27, posted at 10.03.09 10:41:58 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • Rassie is all flash and no smash. All mouth and no mettle… you get what I’m trying to say.

    If rugby was played in the newspapers, the Stormers would never lose.

  • Comment 28, posted at 10.03.09 11:05:31 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 28) :

    If scrums were judged on coaches’ stats the Stormers would be number ONE!

  • Comment 29, posted at 10.03.09 11:10:17 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 29) : And if Naka Drotske was…

    oh nevermind! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 30, posted at 10.03.09 11:19:25 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 30) : 😆

  • Comment 31, posted at 10.03.09 11:20:25 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • From Superrugby site:

    Schleppers of the Week: The Erasmi of the Cape, Rassie and Frikkie, who have the Cape Press referring to the Stormers’ training ground as “Kamp Stormdraad.” You wonder how much longer an open-minded captain such as Jean de Villiers and his like-minded fellow Springboks Percy Montgomery, Schalk Burger, Conrad Jantjes, AJ Venter, Gcobani Bobo and Peter Grant will put up with such paranoia. Next we’re going to hear they’re sweeping the place for listening devices!

    The Erasmi. 😆 😆

  • Comment 32, posted at 10.03.09 11:28:20 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 32) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 33, posted at 10.03.09 11:40:37 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @McLovin (Comment 32) : @robdylan (Comment 30) : 😆

    The Stormers have been such a disappointment.
    I’m not wasting my energy on them in this campaign…let them surprise me.

  • Comment 34, posted at 10.03.09 11:48:35 by blackshark Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 18) :

    The only thing is that the Stormers were never in the lead in the match, the best they did was 3-3 from minute 32 to 38 when they went behind again.

    Maybe they see 3-3 as being in the joint lead?

  • Comment 35, posted at 10.03.09 21:45:33 by walter van transvaal.co.za Reply

    walter van Lions World
  • @walter van transvaal.co.za (Comment 35) :

    Ahh, I mis read what Rich wrote. i woulda known that had i seen the game.

    AND as it turns out I will be missing the SHARKS game THIS weekend. 👿

  • Comment 36, posted at 11.03.09 07:57:11 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©

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