Odds stacked against Tahs

2010-05-21 07:43

Cape Town - The odds seem stacked against the Waratahs when they meet the Stormers in a Super 14 southern hemisphere championship semi-final at Newlands on Saturday.

Waratahs were beaten 27-6 by Stormers at the same venue during the round-robin phase of the competition and will have to overturn that form and also beat what has become an almost insurmountable hurdle for away teams in Super 14 semi-finals.

It is eight years since an away team last won a semi-final with Waratahs defeated by fellow Australian side Brumbies in 2002.

The necessity of flying to South Africa after playing their final group game in Sydney makes the task even more difficult for the Tahs.

But there is encouragement for the Waratahs in the fact that three of the four defeats suffered by the Stormers this season have been against Australian sides while before this season, the Australians had won three and drawn one of their previous five matches against the Stormers, including a win and a draw in Cape Town.

In their only other appearance in a home semi-final, Stormers were beaten 33-18 by the Highlanders in 1999.

Stormers backline coach and former Springbok centre Robbie Fleck was part of the 1999 team and he told a local newspaper the current side were better equipped to deal with the pressure of home-town expectations.

"In 1999, that week went by so fast. We had a run of six games at Newlands, we were winning and there was great excitement. We were a young side who were playing inspirational rugby and we got caught up in the hype. Before we knew it, we were in a semi-final and we were outplayed."

The current team have played some thrilling rugby, anchored by the most effective defence in the competition. The tight forwards have been solid, with lock Andries Bekker having an inspired season, while the loose trio of captain Schalk Burger, Francois Louw and Duane Vermeulen have been outstanding.

The biggest improvement in the Stormers team has been in the finishing of a backline bolstered by the signing of Boks Jaque Fourie and Bryan Habana.

Waratahs flew into South Africa on Sunday after an impressive 32-16 home win over the Hurricanes in what was effectively a knockout game.

Instead of going straight to Cape Town, they opted to do most of their preparation in Durban, a two-hour flight away.

The Australian side finished third on the log, a single bonus-point behind the Stormers, with both teams winning nine matches and losing four.

Waratahs have lost two key forwards in eighthman Wycliff Palu and prop Benn Robinson through injury but have an inspirational captain in flank Phil Waugh and some outstanding backs, including fly-half Berrick Barnes, fullback Kurtley Beale and wings Lachlan Turner and Drew Mitchell.

15. Joe Pietersen, 14. Gio Aplon, 13. Jaque Fourie, 12. Juan de Jongh, 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Peter Grant, 9. Dewaldt Duvenage, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Francois Louw, 6. Schalk Burger (captain), 5. Andries Bekker, 4. Adriaan Fondse, 3. Brok Harris, 2. Tiaan Liebenberg, 1. Wicus Blaauw

Substitutes: 16. Deon Fourie, 17. Eusebio Guinazu, 18. Anton van Zyl, 19. Pieter Louw, 20. Ricky Januarie, 21. Willem de Waal, 22. Tim Whitehead

15. Kurtley Beale, 14. Lachie Turner, 13. Rob Horne, 12. Tom Carter, 11. Drew Mitchell, 10. Berrick Barnes, 9. Luke Burgess, 8. Ben Mowen, 7. Phil Waugh (captain), 6. Patrick McCutcheon, 5. Kane Douglas, 4. Dean Mumm, 3. Al Baxter, 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1. Dan Palmer

Substitutes: 16. Damien Fitzpatrick, 17. Jeremy Tilse, 18. Chris Thomson, 19. Dave Dennis, 20. Josh Holmes, 21. Daniel Halangahu, 22. Rory Sidey


  • Mike@CapeT - 2010-05-21 07:50

    Don't like reading reports like this...the end result often turns around to bite you on the backside! Hope the Stormers boys are not reading it :-)!

  • Stormbarian-Hater - 2010-05-21 08:00

    Go Waratahs.. !! Go Waratahs..!! ..Go Waratahs..!!!

  • Tahs - 2010-05-21 08:05

    TAhs earned a home semi. i hope the zanzar looks into the match fix stitchup. Go Tahs and sadders.

  • @ Tahs - 2010-05-21 08:21

    They earned a trip to the Cape nothing more nothing less...they were gifted 2 games. So barely even deserve to make the top 4 ...but they did, so I'll give them credit. But try not to get ahead of yourself little fella...

  • Fuzzy - 2010-05-21 08:23

    GuessStormbarian-Hater is a Blue Bulls dummy

  • Bulls fan forever - 2010-05-21 08:31

    Go Tahs Go, crush those pink rugby players with a kit akin to an All Black outfit !!! Bulls vs Tahs in the final, Bulls to crush the Stormers supporters dream even further !!!!

  • Pet - 2010-05-21 08:31

    Come on Tahs...Make me proud!!! Wiele kom af pappie!!!!!

  • rick - 2010-05-21 08:38

    ag just shove a few sheep on the field and the game is won by the stormers..BAAAA

  • Stormer@Tahs - 2010-05-21 08:43

    They did not earn s*1t buddy. The Stormers beat the Bulls convincincgly and did not even net the bonus point to to top the Tahs on the log. Cry me a river and tell someone who cares. The Stormers thumped you last time around and will do it more convincingly this time. The Tahs are going to get hurt by the Stormers pack.

  • lk - 2010-05-21 08:52

    If you people can't support any of the two South African teams...please shut up or move to Australia !! Pathetic !!

  • StuartW - 2010-05-21 08:56

    This is gonna be one hell of a game....come on Stormers...make us proud... @ Mike...I agree with you....lets hope the Stormers go out there and play like they have never played before...

  • chrisdup - 2010-05-21 09:00

    "In 1999, that week went by so fast. We had a run of six games at Newlands, we were winning and there was great excitement. We were a young side who were playing inspirational rugby and we got caught up in the hype. Before we knew it, we were in a semi-final and we were outplayed." - this may be true.... But I also remember the team threatening to strike about money...... Hopefully this years team learned from that.....

  • pdw - 2010-05-21 09:04

    Is this journo out to jinx us? Go Stormers!

  • @Tahs - 2010-05-21 09:09

    Typical Aussie comment. Tell you what mate you don’t even deserve to be in the top 4 so go play with your play station (the sheep that is attached to the tree in your backyard) F@cking arrogant sheep shagging convicts!

  • Mike - 2010-05-21 09:20

    @ Tahs: That is the most pathetic comment! Please explain how the Tahs deserved a home semi more than any other team. The Stormers and Bulls have been regular 1 and 2 spots on the log for most of the season. Just because the Bulls dominated so much that they didn't even have to pitch for their last game and would have still come first, plus it was an SA derby which everyone knows are bruising encounters....any team would have done the same to save their best players for the the Tahs were well beaten at Newlands in round robin clash. and before you think I'm a saffa....I'm a kiwi and support the Crusaders....

  • JLC - 2010-05-21 09:24

    Reading through all the comment of the bull idiots that supports the 'tahs, I get the feeling that they are afraid of the Stormers. Well I do hope we meet again in the final at Orlando, so we can get revenge for last years currie cup semi. It will also shut your mouths up about getting beaten last week ( no more excuses about a b-team) Speaing of Saturday's game, it is funny how all the bulls idiots went on last week that they will beat the Stormers with their B-team and how great that b-team is, but after the loss, their only excuse was that is was a b-team. PS: I really hope the bulls and stormers win on saturday, because it will be the best for SA rugby, and I am firstly a SA supporter then a Stormer, unlike the bulls idiots

  • BALSAK(alias Blue Bul Hater) - 2010-05-21 09:27

    The STORMERS by 5-10 points!! GO STORMERS GO!!!!

  • Shark-Man - 2010-05-21 09:33

    @ Tahs - sniff-sniff I feel for you - NOT! Go Stormers!

  • StOrMeRs - 2010-05-21 09:34

    @Bulls fan forever - "pink rugby players" you doos, I have seen thousands of pink bulls rugby jerseys worn by pathetic poppies in Pretoria, moffies!!!!!!! they are on special at Fort Loftus to make space for Bafana Bafana Jerseys @Stormbarian-Hater - well what can I say - you monkey I just don't understand you guys????? LOL at you!!! Now I really want the Bulls to lose although it is not the right thing to want as a SA supporter - but to see you you guys crying on Sunday at breakfast after you get out of bed half pissed will be CLASSIC - still LOL at you, guess you will be packing that supporters jersey away for a while. And please take those blue balls off the tow bar on your bakkie - dis regtig common, like my balls you boneheads

  • Harding - 2010-05-21 09:47

    come on Stormers, this year we go all the way. En al die Suid Afrikaners wat eeder n uitlander sal ondersteun hou asb op met Rugby kyk, julle het iewers die pad buister geraak.

  • ACEE - 2010-05-21 09:48


  • Pire - 2010-05-21 09:52

    Stormers in the finals! Match fixing??? hahahaha, whatever. Die blou bul weet nie van verloor af nie....So they will never throw a match you stupid wanker. Al die blou bul waps hier is kak bang vir die Stormers, dus sal hulle self vir bafana skreeu om te verhoed om ons in die finaal te sien. Die jaar van die Stormers is hier, maak vrede met dit en gaan sit solank in die bar.

  • STORM SAAM - 2010-05-21 10:03

    Just remember that there won't be a Marius Jonker to help the "Blou Balle" again. Irrespective if we support SA-rugby or not, we Stormer supporters are will remain "Bull haters". Competition is competition and i hope the Crusader F u up....Storrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrmers

  • Jack Turner - 2010-05-21 10:07

    To the management of this forum...You say that you will not allow offensive language...or whatevr or whatever. Yet some of your patrons use whatever language or comments the choose..Then Im not too sure who peruses these commments etc etc .Possibly some A.N.C .Smuck.....dare you to publish my comments.

  • polonie - 2010-05-21 10:13

    if you go back and watch the bulls and crusaders game earlier you will see the bulls got whipped.but in came the pathetic jonker with his biased south african attitudes.i mean how can you still give a scrum advantage after the ball gets kicked away 30-40 metres? and no,it didnt happen once i saw two of the same incidents in 5mins.bulls has scrum advantage, steyn kicks ball 30m up field.whistle gets advantage.scrum bulls ball. a penalty i wouldve understood.but this was a f@#kin knock.then ther was the winning try.ball came of that bulls players head.the other dude caught it in offside position and scored the try.thats not neutral refereeing.stormers wouldve kicked the full bulls team as well. stormers is gonna kick ass.doesnt matter who they meet in the final.

  • JustinD - 2010-05-21 10:13

    It's going to be a great final at Newlands....... the bottle stores in Pretoooria are going to run out of klippies and it wont be for any celebrations!!!!LOOOOOSERS!!!!!!! I cant wait for the monday morning tears from up north after the Saders wip you into oblivion.

  • STORMER - 2010-05-21 10:17

    Do @Stormbarian hater, Pet(sit-stay-good boy!) seriously think their comments are going to have any effect on the outcome? Do they think the Tahs will be INSPIRED by their hate for the Stormers? Are the Stormers going to crumble because these chaps don't like them? Then again, these chaps think that by screaming "hou die balllllllllllll" they have a direct influence on every Bulls game....Oi vey.

  • stormy - 2010-05-21 10:33

    @Stormbarian-Hater- what an idiot I take it you are a bulls supporter please sell your sheep in your bed and get a life or f**k out of our land. @Tahs are you watching the same competition as we are if you are you must be high on something you can join @Stormbarian-Hater…….wankers. @Bulls fan forever it is you and your family sorry your wife……sorry your sister……..damn sorry again they are the same person hey that gives SA rugby supporters a bad name so stop your inbreeding. What we need to do is support each other until we have a SA final and then we can carry on like this but first get the AUS and NZ teams out the competition. If it was the BOKS would we go on like this I don’t think so.

  • Pet - 2010-05-21 10:35

    Oh my word you Stormers are a pathetic bunch....Must be stage fright from the supporters...1st semi in how many years and thet cannot handle it!!!Shame just read the comments...Only concerned about the Bulls supporters...Who has been there done that plenty of times before!!!!My mate told me the other day the ash cloud over Europe is a 'myth'!!! Its actually the Stormer makkers cleaning their trophy cabinet...Well sorry chaps will get dirty again!!!Maybe the Currie Cup later when all the Bulls and Sharks players are rested!!!! Komaan Tahs

  • Proud Lion Supporter - 2010-05-21 10:36

    I am and will always be a PROUD lion supporter. Bulls can learn from us. How to take it like a man and still walk proud. I feal sorry for the lines men tomorrow. they are going to have the hands full with all the SNORTING going on. GO STORMERS & CRUSADERS

  • Jakes - 2010-05-21 10:40

    Come on people, support the home teams, and if it is a Bulls/Stormers final, brilliant, just think about the team we can have for the Tri-Nations and next year's World Cup! Enjoy the rugby, and get the small minded attidute and plonker views out of the picture. Enjoy, Go Stormers and Bulls, the true rugby fans are behind you guys.

  • Boknaai - 2010-05-21 10:41

    To all the Stormer haters - jou ma!!!!!!! - Go Stormers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • GVA - 2010-05-21 10:53

    NORTH vs SOUTH Final Go SA Rugby!!

  • Hectic - 2010-05-21 10:55

    Jack Turner - this is 2010 - we can say what we want - if Julius can then so can we! you must be a lavender kalfie supporter??

  • namib - 2010-05-21 10:57

    The stormers have a big game on Saturday-but it will be a mistake to underestimate them. Australian teams think and play. Do not count on the past to predict the outcome. The Waratahs have studied and studied how the Stormers lost to the Sharks. Defend well againsts Grant, Fourie and Burger and let the Waratahs pack dominate the Stormers pack-that will sink the Stormers. And then to play in the Cape is a big breathing advantage. What also worries me is that the Stormers capitilize on mistakes and play from turnover balls. The Waratahs dont make that many mistakes and have excellent kickers. I am frightening myself-hopefully Rassie has thought of all this-Go Stormers think and make us proud. My bulls will be waiting!

  • patrick - 2010-05-21 11:00

    Never been a WP/Stormers supporter, but made an exception this year. The fact that they have blossemed without P*** Watson gives me more delight than you can imagine! Bulls are still going to win.

  • ML @ PROUD LIONS SUPPORTER - 2010-05-21 11:04

    dit is hkm ek dankbaar is jy is nie Bulls supporter nie, ons het nie dwise soos julle nodig om ons span te support nie. Glo dit of nie, maar meeste van ons hoop ook vir n All SA finaal, want ons is nie kortsigtig of onpatriotisties nie. Fankie tog dit beteken dat ek nie in jou gevreet hoef vas te kyk Saterdag in Orlando nie, en Ja, AS die Lions weer eendag n finaal of semi iewers haal teen n NZ of Kiwi span, sal ek en my mede SA rugby ondersteuners net so hard vir hulle ook skree! Go BULLS< GO STORMERS...........f*kk*f veraaiers!

  • Mlazi - 2010-05-21 11:08

    It's destined to be a Bulls / Stormers final in Soweto. Get ready to book your tickets and you whities will see Soweto for the first time. Already Soweto is going to be Blue and support the SA side against the New Zealanders. Whites had better support Bafana when the time comes.

  • Lefty@Proud Lions supporter - 2010-05-21 11:08

    You must be joking !! take it like a man and walk proud ? You TWAT the Lions just rolled over this year and took it , 13 TIMES ? and they are not walking proud they are laying behind their own goalpost as usual , they played K..K !! Get to grips man . GO BULLS !! GO STOMERS !!

  • Pet - 2010-05-21 11:17

    @Boknaai...Jou ma skuld my geld boet!!!!!

  • True Stormbarian-Hater..!! - 2010-05-21 11:41


  • Proud Lion Supporter - 2010-05-21 11:44

    Lefty Lefty Lefty wtf. Do you watch rugby or Ballet ? Who is the only team in SA to hold all 4 titel cups in one year ? Wait for it .....Wait the Lions. Where do 80% of the key players in the other teams come from ? Wait....Wait thats correct they come from the LIONS Training Camp. Stop getting players from other provinces and start using home grone boys and lets talk a again you hypercrat. You the weakest link Good buy

  • ML @ PROUD LIONS SUPPORTER - 2010-05-21 11:45

    I doubt that the Lions will be as proud to have you as a supporter - you ignorant twit! Go Stormers!!! Go Bulls!!!

  • I can like to be a bull supporters... - 2010-05-21 12:00

    Have all Bull supporters undergone a lobotomy or does stupid just come naturally to you guys? You are even easier to beat in a debate than you are when you field your "b" team. Why do you even watch rugby? If you cared to look in the middle section of your Huis Genoot or May's publication of: "I are just doff cause I can like to drink klippies & Dixie Cola", you will note that there are programs especially for you guys too now: There is WWF, & WWE (featuring Hulk-Hogen...just like your other hero, Jan Wilkensen in his red speedo). And I'm sure that those Betamax video shops in Pretoria stock all seasons of Chuck Norris - Walker Texas Ranger (with sub-titles in your own uniquely attractive sounding dialect). Come on guys, leave the rugby to those who love the game. Stormers to play Saders in a home final - 2 teams, great supporters! (with a degree of intelect).

  • WTF - 2010-05-21 12:10

    Mlazi, wake up and smell the roses you RACIST. Us whities are not the racist here, we are South Africans unlike you who believe in White and Black and whatever other colours there are in your Rainbow Nation. We should all support an all SA Final, as we already support the Bafana.

  • Dereck Uys - 2010-05-21 12:14

    what the F.....@@@K is duvenage still doing in this Stormers side....can Alistair Coetsee not see or open his eyes.....damn....its painfull....

  • EkskrieWP - 2010-05-21 12:26

    Derek Uys - WTF! Where have you been the whole of the Super 14? Would you prefer playing Ricky Januarie? Dewald Duvenhage has been brilliant this season.

  • EkskrieWP - 2010-05-21 12:31

    Derek Uys - WTF! Where have you been the whole of the Super 14? Would you prefer playing Ricky Januarie? Dewald Duvenhage has been brilliant this season.

  • TAhs@Stormer - 2010-05-21 12:39

    Would the stormers have beaten the bulls a team? i doubt it as the the sharks ranked 9th gave you guys good kick up the barbed coil. so yeah its a stitch up. oh goodie a saffa ref and touchies for our game. Go Tahs.

  • rugby fan - 2010-05-21 12:41

    if we took all the KAK that you guys talk on this blog we would fill the groot gat in kimberly!!!!! for the love of the game lets suport our boys in blue and blue and white all leave it all on the field like it should it will lift the nation so we can all hold our heads high ans say we are south africans and we are one! no matter the shape of the ball we play to win!!!!!!