Where is Percy?

2009-05-06 09:14

Willem de Waal will continue at flyhalf and Joe Pietersen will come in at fullback in the Vodacom Stormers team to play their penultimate Super 14 match of the season against the Western Force in Cape Town on Saturday – but coach Rassie Erasmus has left one big question unanswered.

With incumbent Springbok fullback Conrad Jantjes ruled out with a broken leg and Francois Steyn also unlikely to be recovered from his knee injury in time for the Lions series, and massive question marks over the quality of the Bok goalkicking, there is a feeling among some players and coaches that Percy Montgomery should be offered a chance to make a fairy-tale ending to his playing career.

Montgomery is officially retired from international rugby, a decision he made towards the end of the last Vodacom Tri-Nations season and announced immediately after the big Bok win over Australia at Coca Cola Park, a match where he played well off the bench.

However, the man whose impeccable boot played such a key role in the South Afircan triumph in the last World Cup is still officially a player, and is contracted to the Stormers. He has played Super 14 rugby this season, and lest it be forgotten, he starred in the Stormers win over the Lions at Newlands in March, when he showed signs of having retained at least some of his old pace in dove-tailing with Gcobani Bobo for one of the Stormers’ eight tries.

Montgomery only played one more game after that, the defeat to the Crusaders in the first match of tour. He returned to South Africa two matches before the end, with the Stormers management listing injury as the reason for his early departure. But it is no secret that Montgomery was released on his own request after it became clear that Jantjes was not going to be happy with a move to wing.

It is understood that Montgomery is fit and healthy, and he could be used by the Stormers if they saw fit, which they should have done in the match against the Chiefs last week, where Jantjes’ injury exposed a horrible lack of thought on the bench.

Instead of Montgomery, Tiger Bax, mainly a centre and after just 20 minutes at fullback in the Varsity Cup, came onto the field to play in the last line of defence for 70 minutes of the game. Bax has no kicking boot to speak of, and yet this was a night when the Stormers had banked so much on a kicking game.

Without Jantjes, and with Montgomery absent from the bench, it was hardly surprising that the Stormers’ kicking game was so poor. Now they have recalled the almost forgotten Joe Pietersen to No15 – a decision which we can assume, from Erasmus’ comments after the Chiefs game, is based around a desire to start rebuilding with the youth.

Yet the Stormers also need to win their last two games if they want to regain any pride from a disastrous season and start the Currie Cup in two months time with any kind of momentum. With the retention of De Waal signalling an intent to retain the kicking game, surely the experienced Montgomery was the man for the job this week.

And had he been given a chance to play one last game for the Stormers at Newlands, it could well have shown us whether he is indeed ready to step into an obvious breach in the national team. Bok coach Peter de Villiers met with Montgomery earlier this week to discuss his role as kicking coach – but they should have spoken about more than that.

After all, it was just nine months ago that Montgomery was part of the Bok team that broke a 10 year drought in New Zealand by beating the All Blacks in Dunedin. He showed that day he can still play international rugby, and the strategy the Boks are planning for the Lions series won’t require him to do any counter-attacking.

Possible Stormers team: Joe Pietersen, Gcobani Bobo, Dylan des Fountain, Peter Grant, Sireli Naqelevuki, Willem de Waal, Dewaldt Duvenage, Luke Watson (captain), Duane Vermeulen, Pieter Louw, AJ Venter, Hilton Lobberts, Brok Harris, Tiaan Liebenberg, JD Moller.


  • Blou Bul - 2009-05-06 10:38

    Who would like to play in this team with Luke as the captain..ha ha they will lose again

  • Hans - 2009-05-06 10:41

    Percy is a has been - it's time to move forward.Rather get rid of Rassie

  • John Smyth - 2009-05-06 11:11

    Get rid of Rassie. What has done except destroy Stomers, talk rubbish and earn a big salary.

  • Anonymous User - 2009-05-06 11:22

    Why don't they bring back Corne Krige and Danie Gerber. Can't do much worse.

  • wendy voltaire - 2009-05-06 11:25

    Percy has experience. He is a great fullback. Give him a break. He is a human being after all.

  • Anonymous User - 2009-05-06 11:37

    y o y always bring luke into everything, its getting a bit borring already

  • Anonymous User - 2009-05-06 11:45

    Everybody shus forget bout Percy, Same as Naas Botha, Andre joubert, Gysie Pienaar and many more. What people dont understand, is beginning and end, you as a players shud know when to stop. Other carry on and they just make a fool of them. Move on to the next generation and keep it going. SA got talent bru. Many fullbacks are avaiable and there are many more to choose. Stop being stupid and leave people out of this.

  • Anonymous User - 2009-05-06 11:58

    This Stormers side will not be disgraced. Percy has showed this season he has not got the stomach for the big time anymore. For crying out loud you now want him in the Bok side to play the Lions. Is jy mal! Jantjes was never going to be the goal kicker anyway. Fullback will be Fourie with the goal kicking going to Pienaar. Kockott will play off the bench as a reserve.

  • Anonymous User - 2009-05-06 12:17

    This really is the easiest thing to fix in the world. Put Stefan from the sharks on Full back, he is the best on form anyway and have all the experience Percy has, and then bring in the best scrumhalf on form which is Rorry cockett who can also kick. REALY what was so difficult about that!

  • John - 2009-05-06 12:21

    Stephan Terblanche must be fullback against the Lions - he has the experience we need...

  • Anonymous User - 2009-05-06 12:26

    Q: Where's Percy? A: Where he belongs.... As far possible from rugby! Good riddance!

  • Anonymous User - 2009-05-06 12:32

    I don't think Stormers players has a problem with Luke. It is more the public that has a problem with him. I am not a Luke Watson fan, but give the man credit - he plays great rugby at the moment. Kry vir jou BLOU BUL!!! - Tipiese Blou bul comments!!! That's why they are "daai kant van die land se" team!!!

  • Anonymous User - 2009-05-06 12:36

    Who cares, the stormers ar k@@ anyway! Now with Watson as captain things can only get worse.

  • Marius - 2009-05-06 13:24

    ...All this talk about players such as Percy etc. to play for the Boks...Please only shows that there's no believe in the talent available in this country.There's no crises...only too much politics in Sport...there is but a few that recognises the talent thats out there.Percys time is over.Invest in the players available.

  • Mike Brady - 2009-05-06 13:32

    Do not blow Rassie away He has had to contend with injuries to key players and just look at history of some teams how they have come from bottom to the top(Bulls when Ludeke first took over 1st season bad now look at how they are doing).You must admit Luke is having a good season even if you do not like him.

  • Mike Brady - 2009-05-06 13:35

    Do not blow Rassie away He has had to contend with injuries to key players and just look at history of some teams how they have come from bottom to the top(Bulls when Ludeke first took over 1st season bad now look at how they are doing).You must admit Luke is having a good season even if you do not like him.

  • skywalker - 2009-05-06 13:37 teaching Ruan how to kick @ goal...

  • Raymond - 2009-05-06 16:03

    With all due respects to other players in this position,Percy has no equal.Even at his age,his line kicking as well as goal kicking will be greatly needed against the B&I Lions.Let me warn the coach and selectors that if he is available for selection and he is not selected you guys will be making a grave mistake.Say no more!!

  • Anonymous User - 2009-05-06 18:18

    I suggest we turn to Jomo Sono to fill the full-back slot for the Stormers and the Boks!

  • Rabbit - 2009-05-06 20:44

    Montgomerry should never have worn SA colours and should just go away.

  • Percy - 2009-05-07 18:30

    Rabbit - you idiot!

  • Percy - 2009-05-07 18:31

    Rabbit - you idiot!

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