Hertford Highlander


Written by Gwyn Pratley (Hertford Highlander)

Posted in :All Blacks, In the news, Springboks, Stormers, Super Rugby on 4 May 2011 at 06:27
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

Duncan Johnstone writes on Rugby Heaven that Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder senses Sonny Bill Williams is primed for his clash with Springboks veteran Jean de Villiers.

It’s a match-up being hyped by the South African media.

An injury-free de Villiers has been key to the Stormers’ continued good form, with last year’s beaten finalists well in charge of the South African Super Rugby conference with eight wins and just one loss.

It’s youth versus experience and Blackadder was full of praise for Williams who will make his debut on South African soil and was the centre of attention when the Crusaders trained in Cape Town yesterday.

“I think he’ll go well [against De Villiers]. He steps up for the big ones… he’s a big-game player,” Blackadder said, acknowledging the personal battle that lay ahead in the midfield.

But Blackadder pleaded for a bit of sanity as SBW-mania hit the Cape.

“It’s too much to put it on just one guy to expect him to break the Stormers down. This isn’t the Sonny Bill Williams team. Everyone is going to have to play their part.

“It’s going to be team on team and not so much about individuals. But he will play his part. It’s the same for Jean de Villiers. He is a fantastic player, but only one important cog in a bigger machine. Hopefully if they put lots of attention on him there’ll be some space for other boys.”

Blackadder told local journalists that Williams had performed “well beyond our expectations” in his debut season of Super Rugby.

“He’s not just all about his offloads; he doesn’t mind getting in there and doing the gnarly stuff as well… making the tackles and cleaning the breakdown. He is a complete player.”

Crusaders captain Richie McCaw was equally enthusiastic over Williams’ contribution this year and his deadly combination with young centre Robbie Fruean.

“Sonny’s got better and better; he wants to fit in and do the right things for the team. He’s got a huge work-rate as well,” McCaw said.

“He and Robbie in the midfield certainly are a threat with the ball.”

McCaw was predicting a huge battle and acknowledged his Crusaders were keen to avenge the 42-14 hiding they copped in Cape Town last year.

He believed this clash was all about asserting front-foot ball

“We’ve got memories of last year when we didn’t get on too well here and want to sort that out.

“How the breakdown goes will depend on what’s happening gainline-wise; if you’re going forward it’s a lot easier.

“The Stormers control the advantage line pretty well from a defensive point of view and they’re a tough line to break down. But no defence is infallible; if you can stretch them there’ll always be space.”


  • SBW is a super athlete. I admire the bloke – wish was a Saffa!

  • Comment 1, posted at 04.05.11 07:40:08 by King Shark Reply
    King Shark
  • First round TKO to SBW.

  • Comment 2, posted at 04.05.11 08:20:56 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Spirit of Rugby
  • I dont think we will get to say either comprehensively out played the other.
    To me they are different players altogether ,the one is a better runner and distributor the other is more physical and plays a role(like it or not kiwis)closely matched to that of wynand O- big and commits defenders(then ofloads)

    I think the crusaders will be mentaly there, the stormers will aswell I hope,but it will be difficuilt getting up to the same intensity as the sharks game ,now they dont have an axe to grind.

    Once again I think the Crusaders will target the Stormers front row becuase it is a weakness,although no stormers supporter will ever admit it :P.

  • Comment 3, posted at 04.05.11 08:35:36 by Talent Reply
  • cant wait for JF to tackle him 😉

  • Comment 4, posted at 04.05.11 08:41:01 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • @Uli (Comment 4) : It’s JDV vs SBW…JF will be kept very busy by Robbie Fruean… 😉

  • Comment 5, posted at 04.05.11 09:02:10 by Charlie Reply

  • @Talent (Comment 3) : The Saders crushed the Sharks scrum to oblivion, the Stormers scrum should also be easy-peasy 😀

  • Comment 6, posted at 04.05.11 09:08:14 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 6) : So you think the Stormers will take this one? 🙂

  • Comment 7, posted at 04.05.11 09:10:09 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Charlie (Comment 5) : JDV vs SBW and JF vs RF. Its got a ring to it! 🙂

  • Comment 8, posted at 04.05.11 09:11:18 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Ben (Comment 7) : stormers are the overwhelming favourites, they beat saders 42 – 14 in the corresponding fixture last year, they’ve only lost once this season, they’ve conceded the least amount of tries.

  • Comment 9, posted at 04.05.11 10:09:51 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 6) :
    Agree, and from that platform they should have ascendancy.

  • Comment 10, posted at 04.05.11 10:25:20 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • Might be worth a little flutter hehehe

  • Comment 11, posted at 04.05.11 11:00:29 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • JDV always looks like he is scared,we will see if he is this week.

  • Comment 12, posted at 04.05.11 13:48:27 by Honey Badger Reply

    Honey Badger
  • @Megatron (Comment 9) : that was last year this year the saders are among the best in the comp but i am going for a saders win but yet maybe not i am a good SA and like on the other thread we are all family in the SR comp CC is all together a different thing

    somebody has to bring the all mighting Streamers down so we can get back to the top its about only 3 games and we are back to the top in the SA conference

  • Comment 13, posted at 04.05.11 14:29:10 by chaz Reply

  • @Honey Badger (Comment 12) : he does look scared because he knows that if we loose this RWC he is a gonner which will do me great :mrgreen:

  • Comment 14, posted at 04.05.11 14:31:14 by chaz Reply

  • @Charlie (Comment 5) : Yes I still want JF to tackle him 🙂

  • Comment 15, posted at 04.05.11 15:35:34 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • SBW to make the stormers midfield look like turnstiles?

  • Comment 16, posted at 04.05.11 15:48:46 by billy Reply


Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.