Vodacom Super 14

Liebenberg calls on Newlands

2009-04-30 19:48
Tiaan Liebenberg back at Newlands (Gallo Images)
Stephen Nell - Die Burger

Cape Town - Tiaan Liebenberg hopes to celebrate his new contract with Western Province in style when the Stormers take on the Chiefs at Newlands on Saturday.

The Springbok hooker’s last game in Cape Town was last year against the Highlanders when he tore knee ligaments whilst scoring a try in the 26-16 victory.

Liebenberg left for French club Toulon after the Super14, but was grateful when he got an emergency call from the Stormers before their tour of Australia and New Zealand.

Now the only thing he is disappointed about is that his contract with WP is not a longer one.

“I would have taken a contract of three years had they put one on the table. I have signed until October next year,” said Liebenberg.

“I’m delighted to be back and looking forward a lot to the weekend. It’s going to be great playing in front of the Newlands crowd again.”

It’s doubtful whether the crowd will be as large as the last time when Liebenberg played at Newlands. The Stormers have won only one of their last five games.

“I know the people are angry and are probably asking themselves what the use is of coming when we are 11th on the log. However, we are a proud group of players,” said Liebenberg.

“We showed a desire last week. However, it’s nice to be able to do that at home in front of your own crowd. It would be fantastic if the people can help us. We promise to do everything in our power to put on a show that they won’t forget.”

There is a distinct possibility of rain on Saturday, which can be an equaliser and put the skids on some of the Chiefs’ gamebreakers.

A lock combination of AJ Venter and Hilton Lobberts is far from ideal, but both are physical players and that may count in the Stormers’ favour given the circumstances.

“The Chiefs are a dangerous scrumming pack,” said Liebenberg.

“We will miss Andries Bekker. As a hooker it’s very nice to have a guy of 2,08m in the lineouts. However, his absence opens the door for Hilton.

“Hilton’s physical attributes are worth a lot in a game like the one against the Chiefs. It’s not a bad thing for him to get an opportunity.”

Liebenberg also feels the Stormers have something positive to build on after the win over the Highlanders.

“Last weekend was brilliant. The team showed a lot of guts and it was one of the most enjoyable games I have been involved in for a long time,” he said.

“We should take the confidence out of that, but also consign it to the past. If we think things will just happen for us, we need a wake-up call.”

Meanwhile, Chiefs fullback and captain Mils Muliaina has been declared fit to play after recovering from a leg injury.


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