Stormers eye best season ever

2010-01-13 22:19

Stephen Nell

Cape Town – The Stormers have their sights on the best Super14 performance in the history of the franchise this year.

That was the word on Wednesday from lock Anton van Zyl, who is likely to be Andries Bekker’s lock partner when the Cape side kicks off its campaign against the Lions in Johannesburg on February 13.

“The high expectations of supporters are justified. The team started showing promise from the end of last year’s Super14 through the Currie Cup, and there are also new acquisitions,” said Van Zyl.

“We’re working hard at becoming the complete package, not as individuals, but as a team.

“As a team we’d like to come up with the best Stormers performance ever, but on a more practical level and in terms of vision, we’d just like to improve our performance every week. We’d like to perform better as a team than any Stormers team before us.”

The Stormers don’t have a particularly impressive history. They reached the semi-finals in 1999 and 2004, but at least were South Africa’s top team for a number of years when all its other sides were in the doldrums.

Either way, it is encouraging to hear that the Stormers want to perform well “as a team”.

Even the team of 1999 was tripped up by egos.

“There’s a huge emphasis on harmony in the team context to ensure that we’re all pulling in the same direction,” said Van Zyl.

“Last week during our training camp, for example, we spent some time away from rugby to ensure that we get to know one another. It’s important that everybody pulls together in tough times.”

With Adriaan Fondse still on the injured list, Van Zyl is likely to play a prominent role early on in this year’s campaign.

“If I’m fortunate enough to be picked as No 4 lock, it will be fantastic,” he said.

“Andries Bekker is a world class player and it’s important for me just to be part of the team.

“It’s still going to take a while for Fondsie to get back to full fitness, but he’s a terrific lock and the competition is going to get hot.”

Apart from the quality of his performances, 29-year-old Van Zyl is also a strong leader and he can be an important figure in the side.

“The team management have created a culture where each player is a leader in his own position. It’s about taking responsibility for your role in the team context,” said Van Zyl.

“If it’s my job to provide leadership for younger players, then I’d be delighted to do it.”

This can also be a year in which Van Zyl stakes his claim for the Green and Gold.

His consistency of performance and intelligence probably makes him a candidate.

“Any South African player who tells you he does not have his sights on the Green and Gold is probably telling a little white lie,” he said.

“I know my chances have as much to do with my performances as that of the team.

“My primary focus is to establish myself in the team and contribute to its performance.

“As a player you look better in a winning team. The Boks are a goal, but the focus is to ensure that the team reaches its goals.”


  • Blue Jake - 2010-01-13 22:51

    Same old story. Year in, year out. Yaaaaaawn.

  • Koos - 2010-01-13 23:06

    Well, thing can only improve for the capetonians with the "puke" gone. Now they can start playing rugby. Good luck for the S14. Hope you can help the Bulls in flying the SA flag higher.

  • Punter - 2010-01-13 23:20

    Blue Jake we are going to bust your Blue B@lls this Year

  • Blue Jake - 2010-01-13 23:39

    Does your mommy know you are still up? It's school tomorrow.

  • Ghwappie - 2010-01-14 00:08

    Yee-hah!!! Let the games begin...

  • Cliff Bradley - 2010-01-14 03:13

    Ja Mr Blue Jake - At Least In WP We Drink Coke - In NT The Players Snort It

  • pete - 2010-01-14 05:40

    I recall reading a similar version of events that were bound to take place at the beginning of the last season. Now don't become like our Government and just talk about it, produce the goods this time!!!!! There was a definite upward trend towards the end of the last season and now is the chance to continue building up on this achievement.

  • rugby fan - 2010-01-14 06:04

    WP. take, buy good players and turn them into cr-p players.

  • andre - 2010-01-14 07:25

    We hear this at the start of every year.Cant they just go out and play, instead of talking the game

  • KW - 2010-01-14 07:38

    Ag ja.... Thats what the Stormers always say. Great on paper, but never perform.

  • Emile - 2010-01-14 07:39

    Just hope we are not into disco lights on Newland's roof and other pathetic childish side shows. Stormers always had more than enough show ponies on the field and Habana will fit in quite well. With the names on paper that they currently have, they better perform. For several seasons the Stormers, Lions and Cheetahs merely made up numbers on the Super 14 Log and didn't do the Bulls and Sharks any favours with their pathetic play. The Bulls and Sharks had to fight against all teams for log points, while the NZ & Aus teams used our other teams to gather easy points. It is about time the other teams stand-up and prevent the NZ and Aus teams from collecting easy log points. By the way, these anti-Bulls and anti-Stormers supporters with their childish comments are becomming a bit irritating and COMMON. In a multi-national competition, we are suppose to support all our teams (except when playing each other). Stop being such pathetic sportsman, something totally unique to SA.

  • Riaan - 2010-01-14 08:11

    Ons Storm voort !

  • CJ - 2010-01-14 08:18

    Im so over these bulls supporters and their bad sportmanship, yes, competition is great but when its an international tournament we want as many SA teams as possible in the final rounds to up SA's chance of retaining the trophy. When the bulls and stormers or any other local team plays then yes, banter away, but get off your high horses and support SA in these tournaments, we all need it. Best of luck to all the teams playing, may SA have an awsome season and lets keep this trophy in our country!

  • Bulls fan - 2010-01-14 09:11

    @CJ. "support SA in these tournaments". Wow, no that is the pot calling the kettle black if ever! The majority of rugby supporters did not support the Bulls in the 2009 S14 final. Only the Bulls fans supported them in the 2009 CC final, the rest of the rugby supporters the Cheatahs. In fact the comments was "hope the Chiefs crush the Bulls" etc. You must one of the 1% of supporters in the Cape with brains then. I agree with you, I'll support any SA franchise as long as they are not playing against the Bulls!

  • Unabashed Dutchman - 2010-01-14 09:23

    Yackity-yack! Anton van Zyl used to say the same things while playing for the Lions. And we know how they fared. You don't become 'the complete package' overnight, my friend. The Stormers just talk, and the Bulls are simply the best. When they end near the bottom of the log this year, the next likely excuse will be used: "We're rebuilding, this doesn't happen overnight. So we ask the the fans to bear with us". Have we heard anything similar from the Bulls' players or captains in 2007 or 2009 before the Super14 started? Or even now in the run-up to this year's tournament? No, because talk is cheap and it's only accomplishments that count. To have their best season ever, it means at least a final spot because they've reached the Super14 semi-final before. I'm sorry, but I'll make big bets and say that that is a bridge too far for this bunch of pretty boys. The only reason they performed well during the CC is because the Sharks and Bulls were devoid of their Springboks and WP only had two. But seeing that they've started buying the whole Springbok backline, maybe, just maybe, they can move beyond 12th on the log. With a captain like Schalk Burger, I would not get my hopes up. Bulleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

  • Riccardo - 2010-01-14 09:40

    Same $***, different day...Can the Stormers not shut up about how good or how they've improved or how much better they are or some cr@p like that. Stop talking and start improving, I'm tired of hearing the same thing every time. If they play better and improve compared to last year, THEN fine, they can talk as much as they want then....but until then...keep quiet. Back up your words please.

  • Crimson - 2010-01-14 09:49

    Guys when are you gonna stop bashing each other? This is S14 not Currie Cup. We should all be supporting each others teams bar it is not a derby. I am a Sharks fan but I know I will be supporting the Stormers and Bulls and the rest of the SA teams come the S14. Anyway while you kids continue the name calling I will be supporting and enjoying the SA teams in the S14. By the way we all know what to expect from the Bulls and Stormers and Sharks this year but dont write off the Cheetahs. Good Forwards and with both Ebersohns in the mix we might enjoy some goor running rugga.

  • WEE PEE - 2010-01-14 11:06

    The other SA teams must accept the facts.WP will fly the SA flag this year.Face it,they will be unstoppable.The best the Sharks,Bulls and Cheetahs can do is play negative rugby against the Stormers and limit the hiding they are sure to recieve.Go WP jou lekker ding!!

  • Grill - 2010-01-14 11:38

    Haha! Now the Stormers have no chance! Never say cr@p like this before the season starts! Everytime the Stormers regard themselves as favourites bad things happen (I'm remembering a particular home semi against the Highlanders many years ago...)

  • Bulls fan - 2010-01-14 11:44

    @WEE PEE.....let me fill in the missing letters in you name: WEEr ProbEEr. Arrogance has let to many a downfall, in this case the Stormers year after year! You are so full of yourself I can see teh cr@p flowing from your mouth. Sies! Since when is a team a "ding". Sies again.

  • Scrooge - 2010-01-14 12:16

    Bulls and sharks prepare yourself for the worst year of super 14. Those guys overseas has prepared themselfs for us, they not gonna make the same mistakes again.They gonna take out bulls and sharks that you cant believe it. They do listen not like us. This year its the stormers and cheetas year to be the top teams of SA if not then they will never ever get it right. Bulls lets stand strong and take this years bad comments from the other teams, we will be down below on the standings this year and they will still call us bad sportmans etc.

  • i hate the stomers - 2010-01-14 12:21

    "but at least were South Africa’s top team for a number of years when all its other sides were in the doldrums." Van Zyl when was this in the early '80. I heard the stomers name going to change to "WATCH US" After every super 14 it is "WATCH US" in the Currie Cup & after every Currie cup it is "WATCH US" in the Super 14 next year. If looked in to the history of the currie cup & the guys that say the WP win the most cup is wrong. Before 1938 there was only really 2-3 teams that could play rugby & the oldest was WP, they win 15 currie cups(1889-1938)..........?? But then in 1938 a team called then self the bulls arrived and in the last 72 years they have win 23-currie cups & 2-super 14 titels. Last 72-years Currie Cup(the way to cup is been played-with semis & finals) Bulls-23 (super 14- 2) W.P.-15 Lions-9 Sharks-5 Cheetahs-4 Griekwas-One's

  • Cliff Bradley - 2010-01-14 13:20

    i hate the stomers: You May Hate The Stormers , But At Least They Are Not A Bunch Of Coke Snorters

  • CAPETONIAN - 2010-01-14 13:47


  • Bulls fan - 2010-01-14 13:52

    @Cliff Bradley. Maybe not, but they are a bunch of Choke Supporters. wHY dO yOU kEEP oN wRITING wITH cAPITALS?

  • Unabashed Dutchman - 2010-01-14 14:05

    @ Cliff Bradley: Who says the whole Bulls team snorts coke? You're quick to forget about your own players' indiscretions. Your beloved Rob Kempson, WP and Stormers prop, who molested an underaged girl while he was drunk. Herschelle Gibbs, well, there are too many things to mention, most of them illegal. Calla Scholtz who smuggled abalone. Bob Skinstad who crashed his car on a night out because he was too drunk. BTW Pedrie is originally from the Cape (went to Oakdale in Riversdal and his parents and grandparents still stay there). Don't make this about morality, we all have our shortcomings and sins. Fact is, the Stormers suck until they PROVE everybody wrong. The Bulls have the silverware to prove how good they are and they have displayed their morals and beliefs for everybody to see.

  • Raymond - 2010-01-14 14:35

    STORMERS-Still a classy side and a great attraction at any sports stadium in the country.

  • Steven Davies - 2010-01-14 14:54

    @I hate the Stormers.I was about to choke on my drink when you quoted those stats,but I confess after 'googling' the facts I must concede that the Bulls are indeed the most successful team in SA.But mark my words,WP and Stormers are going to put the record straight this year.We will not be stopped,especially not by the Sharks or Bulls.

  • BlouBul - 2010-01-14 15:11

    I didn't even read the article. It's just too funny. They should rather change WP to Bafana (ANC) colours, not the bulls. Bafana and WP are on the same winning level.

  • bok4life - 2010-01-14 15:30

    All i can say is LIIIONS!!!! Whoop Whoop!! @Unabashed Dutchman - WOW!! Well said!! Anyways to be honest i dont care who wins the Super14, it would be nice to see the LIONS do well!!! anyways i dont care who wins the Super14 as long as they are a South African team and its not any of the Aussies or NZ-ers!! I love watching them cry at the end of the season!

  • ForeverStormers - 2010-01-14 15:35

    The thing about a stormers/wp fan, is when our team doesn't perform, we don't jump around searching for a team to support that has one or two good seasons. We stick with our team, through the good and bad. How many supporters did the bulls have when they finished in the bottom 4 a few years back? think about it. when they started to perform, now all of a sudden everyone wants to be a bull, except for the Province (and some Cheetha) fans. I'm sticking with my team, even if they finish dead last, because it's in my blood. WP JOU LEKKER DING!!!!!

  • Alan Ingram - 2010-01-14 15:36

    Ya Ya ! i heard that last year? Via Bulls !!!! (and now even the Lions are going to be a better side) !

  • Cliff Bradley - 2010-01-14 15:37


  • Zee - 2010-01-14 15:38

    Guys rugby is all there is up in Pretoria, so don't be too put off by the Bulls supporters running their mouths again like with every season, they're probably just very bored! I mean, have you been to Pretoria? It sucks!

  • BlouBul - 2010-01-14 15:43

    @Cliff Bradley - Whenever, where ever, sounds like a Shakira song you fag.

  • philB - 2010-01-14 15:48

    Everyone who says it's always the same old story from the Stormers must realize that it's not the Stormers calling press conferences and then saying how good they're going to be... They are asked EVERY day by journalists about what they think their chances are. Obviously they have to back themselves and talk it up. Don't blame them. It's beyond me why there isn't the same public interest in the Bulls, Sharks or Cheetahs? Looks like the journo's just have a chubby for the Stormers for some reason. Again, it's not their fault.

  • Valie - 2010-01-14 15:54

    "Stormers eye best season", .....haven't I heard that one before, ...and before, ..and before... ......just asking...

  • Cliff Bradley - 2010-01-14 16:02

    BlouBul: Who spoke to you, shut your cake hole you idiot. At least I did not sing Liefling to a man- Talk about fags - Bloubul = Fag

  • jj - 2010-01-14 16:08

    The best thing about cape town is the road back to Pretoria :-)

  • BlouBul - 2010-01-14 16:13

    @Cliff Bradley - Thanks, but I don't appreciate this flirting with me from your side. This is not the mother city mister gatgabba.

  • Bulls fan - 2010-01-14 16:38

    tHiS oNe'S fOr YoU cLiFiE bAdMoUtH: The requirements to become a WP supporter is not only to remove your brain, but also your stomach. After all who can stomach the fact that you have not won a CC final in so many years? All the cups are still safe in WP and Sharks headquarters - the cups in the kitchen! Osama bin Laden might after all be hiding in the trophy cabinet of WP headquarters - no one has opened it for years! You will be well advised to not buy any wine with the vintage of 2009 from the Western Cape - it's all sour grapes now!

  • Cliff Bradley - 2010-01-15 02:58

    Bloubul- I would never do that I got pride ,I dont ever flirt with RUBBISH. Bulls Fan : We dont you or your type in the WP , please before the name calling ,check who started first ( Idiot Bloubul) , Anyway at least I had a brain to begin with , not like the lot from "udderside de Jukskei" Cheers

  • Blue Bull Boy - 2010-01-15 07:20

    @philB. I fully agree with you. No one is going to say that they did not prepare well and they expect to do poorly, no matter how you got in touch with the press. You must show confidence, otherwise the season will be lost before it even started. I wish all the SA teams the best of luck, may this be a good one for all of us.

  • Unabashed Dutchman - 2010-01-15 07:59

    @Cliff Bradley: Who says the whole Bulls team snorts coke? You're quick to forget about your own players' indiscretions. Your beloved Rob Kempson, WP and Stormers prop, who molested an underage girl while he was drunk. Herschelle Gibbs, well, there are too many things to mention, most of them illegal. Calla Scholtz who smuggled abalone. Bob Skinstad who crashed his car on a night out because he was too drunk. BTW Pedrie is originally from the Cape (went to Oakdale in Riversdal and his parents and grandparents still stay there). Don't make this about morality, we all have our shortcomings and sins. Fact is, the Stormers suck until they PROVE everybody wrong. The Bulls have the silverware to prove how good they are and they have displayed their morals and beliefs for everybody to see.

  • Gotcha - 2010-01-15 09:56

    Please go and check this site , then maybe both parties could stop bashing each other and realize they aren't as good as they think:

  • BlouBul - 2010-01-15 10:22

    @Cliffie Bradley - Don't you go insult the Jukskei bro.

  • liff Bradley - 2010-01-15 12:05

    BlouBul: I would ever do that - Only the MOFFIES to the north of it. So don't worry

  • Steven Davies - 2010-01-15 13:52

    @Cliff Bradley.I'm embarrased to be a WP supporter with idiots like you shouting their mouths off.To all the Blue Bull supporters,on behalf of all intelligent folk in Cape Town I would just like to apologise for the childish remarks from the Cape.This in no way reflects the feelings of the Province players.

  • Bulls fan - 2010-01-15 14:07

    Cliffie jou mofkop hou jou pienk bekkie, jy praat meer kak as 'n kloosterkoek met 'n sondag kerk rok in 'n h*erhuis. Jy praat so baie van moffies dat ons almal nou weet jy is een. So hierdie forum is nie vir jou soort nie, gaan kyk netbal.

  • Cliff Bradley - 2010-01-15 15:06

    Steven Davies: You kow wht - I dont are about how you feel - check back, when the bulls beat us , I was about the only WP supporter that congratulated them, but those two with which I had the argument carry o & on and then sometimes you snap , but like I said your feelings are of no concern to me , I know myself and only get ugly when pushed hard enough- Check the comments about Luke and other WP players ( Schalk) by these two in particular, so please dont appologise on my behalf- its not needed.