News24

Habana hungry for Super glory

2013-01-30 20:03

Cape Town - He got his hands on the Currie Cup trophy when Western Province won it in Durban last year, but Bryan Habana has left little doubt that he believes the Stormers still have the big one to conquer in his last season with them.

The Springbok wing will continue his career in France at the conclusion of what will be his fourth Super Rugby season with the Cape team. He told the supersport.com website that although winning the domestic trophy did whet the appetite and bring some self-belief to the youngsters in the side by ending the so-called silverware drought, the southern hemisphere regional title is the one the players most covet.

“It’s really difficult to compare the Currie Cup to Super Rugby because they are such a different level of competition,” said Habana, who won two Super 14 titles with the Bulls in 2007 and 2009.

“The way I look at it is that we have been the South African conference champions in the last two years, but we still have to get over that final hurdle. We have come very close in the past few seasons, but because we have fallen just short there is a really strong desire among the senior players for us to get across the line this year.

“In Super Rugby you are playing tough rugby for (16 weeks), so to finish top of the log, as we did last year, was a real achievement and something really positive. Even though we lost to the Sharks in the semi-final, what we did took quite an effort. But we still need to go further, and I think we saw when the Lions won the Currie Cup (in 2011) that it means nothing when it comes to gauging how you’ll go in Super Rugby.

“What the Currie Cup win did do was inspire belief that we could win a trophy, but Super Rugby is a very different competition. After three happy years in the Cape I would really like to see us cap off the progress that has been made by winning Super Rugby. I know I speak for other senior players like Schalk Burger and Jean de Villiers when I say that.”

Habana said that the knowledge that he would be leaving the Stormers at the end of it would not detract from the intensity with which he approaches Super Rugby in the 2013 season.

“This season will be no less important than the other nine I have experienced in my career have been. I feel like I have been part of a successful Stormers team during the years I have been here and I would like to end off my stint here on a successful note,” he said.

The infusion of a couple of stars from the Lions has added depth to the Stormers this season, particularly at the back, and Habana is hopefully set to benefit by being managed carefully through the campaign after a very busy 2012 season that ended with an unfortunate injury in the Currie Cup final.

“Hopefully I will get the odd chance to rest, but obviously every player wants to be part of the team and part of every game as much as possible. I think the aim will be to have the best team on the field for 80 to 85% of the games. But the extra depth does bring healthy competition, and you can feel the players are being pushed. Someone like Joe Pietersen is in great condition and will push the rest of the (back three) players strongly for their places.”

Pietersen has been a Stormers stalwart over the past few years but may well find himself on the outside of the starting team looking in because of the arrival of Jaco Taute, the Lions Springbok who has come to the Cape on loan. Habana is excited about what Taute could bring to the Stormers back three mix.

“I think for a start we are going to have to get used to the idea that he will be running the ball back a lot more than we are used to,” said Habana.

“It is sad to see the Lions not playing Super Rugby this year, but it’s fantastic to have Jaco playing for us. He brings a lot of energy and is a player who was touted for bigger things ever since he left school. He has Bok experience now and that will mean he is able to contribute from a leadership perspective.”

The Stormers start their 2013 Super Rugby campaign away to the Bulls on Pretoria on Friday, February 22.

SuperSport

Comments
  • sean - 2013-01-30 20:58

    Early days still before kick-off but my Stormers team are looking good.We need to take that impressive form from the Currie Cup final now into this new season.Province has a large pool of talented up and coming youngsters who showed what they can do at the U/21 level and who can become even more valued in solidifying our strong defense,their offloading and distribution skills & running good attacking lines from across the park.Some of them are already part and parcel of the Springbok U20 squad and even the 7's team. Super Rugby calls for higher skills levels in rugby than any other competition in the world and is at it's best behind a strong forward pack of players.Yes we can't compete with Europe when it comes to sponsorships,tv audiences,revenue, and the rich history of it all,but the skills and techniques in the Southern Hemisphere competition is vastly superior than anywhere else.

      Threetimeschampions - 2013-01-30 22:05

      Tjom, jou semi blogs hier is rerig vervelig

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2013-01-30 23:49

      Tienkie winkie the Australian supporter is back. Your game is up, we all now know that you are in fact an Aussie supporter. Sies man. In your previous comment on another article you admitted that your threetimeschampions name change now refers to the 2 Brumbies and one Reds Super Rugby titles that the Asutralian teams have between them.

      Flemstone - 2013-01-31 01:17

      You clearly don't watch European rugby. Super rugby has only got about 3 really stand out teams. Europe has got more than 10. I also support the Stormers and they finished top of the SA teams. Their skill? Kicking possession away and decent tackling. No attacking skill. Chiefs showed great skill last year, I don't think we'll see the same this year. NZ teams have superb skill. SA and OZ teams don't. I'd say Sharks are the best. But they'd get smashed by clubs like Clermont and Toulon. European rugby overtook SH rugby about 3 years ago already. We'll be lucky to get 2 entertaining games per week this year in super rugby.

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2013-01-31 03:35

      Phlegm. No-one watches European rugby. Not even the Bulls play such boring rugby. Sharks get smashed by Toulon or Clermont? Not likely. They'd probably finish 6 to 8th in the S15. Say, if European rugby overtook SH rugby 3 years ago already, then why can't their national sides win against SH sides? And I'm not talking about the one fluke where England beat the AB's.

      Threetimeschampions - 2013-01-31 08:33

      Christina, 3 regte koppies and counting, jou spannetjie twee polystyrene koppies

      steven.crofton - 2013-01-31 10:11

      What you smoking, Flemstone?

      julius.malememba.7 - 2013-01-31 15:54

      Flem ... are u related to MATT PRINSLOO?? You sound just as stupid since he says the same thing about the EP QUEERS ... that they will be competitive against real rugby players ...!

      dono - 2013-01-31 18:09

      flemstone go home you muppet

  • jacobus.rautenbach - 2013-01-30 21:09

    yes, nog een voor jy loop, stormerssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

  • shaunsm1th - 2013-01-30 21:20

    Its been a long time coming but the wait was worth it! 2013! After 17 years,the Stormers maiden Super Rugby championship trophy!

      Threetimeschampions - 2013-01-30 22:06

      Nee wat, droom maar voort

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2013-01-30 23:51

      Threetimes aussie champions, sorry "tjom" but the trophy is not going to Aus this year. You will have to wait another few years. Or forever. The cup is going to the Cape. And no denying it like you did with the Currie Cup last year.

      Threetimeschampions - 2013-01-31 08:35

      Christina, jy kan die naam "seventeentimesdelusional" gebruik, dit pas jou perfek

      julius.malememba.7 - 2013-01-31 16:09

      Just like the Stormers Chrisinoz has been shooting blanks for 17yrs ... shame!! Truely delusional!!

  • koos.tonteldoos.1 - 2013-01-30 22:11

    bla bla bla fish paste... bulls will take it for a fourth time.

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2013-01-30 23:53

      Whahahahaha. The Bulls will take it? Ja sure. I think we should not talk to loudly, before koos.klaasvakie wakes up. KOOS, THE BULLS WON'T EVEN BE IN THE TOP 8. Oh sorry, did I shout? Are you awake now? Crying because you now have to deal with reality?

  • she.is.here.777 - 2013-01-30 22:48

    Slam dunk Stormers gaan die cup vat hierdie jaar!

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2013-01-31 06:11

      she, ek glo ook so. Maar die Sharks gaan nie sommer net stil le na hulle telleurstelling laasjaar nie. Hulle gaan 'n moeilike span wees. Ek dink die Chiefs sal nie sommer weer 'n goeie jaar he nie, met die Crusaders nog altyd 'n gevaarlike span. Die Highlanders lyk of hulle ook op die regte pad is, so ek dink dis die twee NZ spanne wat die Stormers moet uitkyk voor. In Aus is dit maar eintlik net die Brumbies wat gevaarlik gaan wees en gaan voordeel trek uit die conference sisteem. Ek kan nie sien hoe die S15 trofee nie SA toe sal gaan nie. En dit gaan dan uitbaklei word tussen die Sharks en die Stormers. En durf ek dit se: ek hoop nie die Stormers speel enige semi's of finals op Nuweland nie. Ek hoop dis op hulle gunsteling wen-veld, Kingspark.

      Threetimeschampions - 2013-01-31 08:37

      Bwaahaaa, julle droom elke jaar maar lekker ne

  • WernerZA - 2013-01-31 06:22

    Bryan, as jy by die bulls gebly het, het jy dalk n kans gehad... Maar nous jy n choker... Ai.

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2013-01-31 07:01

      'n Kans gehad om weereens onder aan die log te le, ja.

      braam.groenewald.39 - 2013-01-31 08:33

      ai ai ou Chris ons weet jy kan beter as dit doen raak jy biekie "rusty". maar daarna kyk om jou naam te verander na Chrisistoz

  • christo.dupreez.58 - 2013-01-31 09:23

    jy is nie baie slim nie chrisin

  • wp.stormer.3 - 2013-01-31 09:51

    Bryan you definetely deserves to hold that Super Throphy above your head - only one more time. C'mon Stormers make us proud. You go boys

  • louis.bensch.31 - 2013-01-31 11:51

    Sorry Bryan, dit gaan nie gebeur nie, geniet Frankryk maar.

  • keba.mothoagae - 2013-01-31 13:24

    Just start turning up for the playoff matches, Brian and the Stormers. We have been soundly beaten in every one of our Super 14/15 knockouts since we got used to participating in them back in 2010. A hallmark of all these defeats was the Stormers only playing properly from halfway through the second half of these matches after the opposition (Bulls, Crusaders and Sharks) overran them in the first. The Stormers have all the potential to get that maiden win, but they need to play like this when it matters.

      julius.malememba.7 - 2013-01-31 16:00

      the moment just gets to big for the striped pansies ... and when it is all over all they have to show for their efforts is a striped panty and a useless (conference) cup ... as consolation for the choke.

  • niel.walt - 2013-02-02 12:14

    If the stormers play the way they did last year and do manage to win the trophy it would be a sad day for rugby. Expansive flair is what makes super15 so super and brilliant to watch.

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