Stormers resist tight five panic

2012-07-04 17:09

Cape Town – The SA conference-leading Stormers have largely given a vote of confidence to the front five which at best experienced “difficulties” in the scrums last weekend for their Super Rugby encounter with the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

It was one area the embattled Lions noticeably dominated before going down 27-17 at Newlands, but the Stormers’ brains trust made only one adjustment in that area on Wednesday – the expected return of loosehead prop Steven Kitshoff from the Baby Boks’ victorious campaign at the expense of veteran utility front-ranker Deon Carstens, who reverts to the bench.

There must have been at least some consideration to beefing up the front row by restoring the bulkier Tiaan Liebenberg at hooker, but instead mobile, dynamic Deon Fourie keeps his starting berth and De Kock Steenkamp – normally more of a No 5-type lock – also stays in the mix at No 4 alongside Andries Bekker.

There is arguably a bit of a sacrifice in “grunt” by combining Steenkamp with Bekker, rather than someone like Quinn Roux or even hard man Rynhardt Elstadt, who instead comes back from suspension to the blindside flank position he has begun to bed down in anew during recent months.

But the Stormers should at least have a lineout unlikely to play second fiddle, especially as last week’s maiden starter at No 7, Don Armand, excelled in this area against the Lions and is an option off the bench on Bloemfontein.

From a scrummaging perspective, the visitors clearly have confidence in Kitshoff restoring the necessary stability at No 1, whilst also assuming that tighthead Frans Malherbe, who bravely played while nursing illness symptoms last Saturday, will give a stronger account of himself against the Cheetahs’ Trevor Nyakane than he did against JC Janse van Rensburg.

At the customary midweek media briefing, coach Allister Coetzee said of Fourie’s retention in the middle of the front row: “Deon really played well last week ... it’s pretty difficult to pull the man of the match out of the team. He’s one of our best players (at present) so you need him on the field; it’s as simple as that.”

He said it was possible Fourie, who is always capable of shifting effectively to open-side flank during matches, allowing for Liebenberg’s infusion at hooker, would do again on Saturday.

“It depends on the game situation; it is certainly an option.

“As far as Kitsie goes, he is looking really energetic on the field (after his week off) ... it did him the world of good. He understands now why we did it and has trained well throughout the week.”

He said he was confident the scrum would be more efficient.

“Without a doubt ... when we played the Cheetahs here in round one we scrummed against both WP Nel (back in the starting lineup this weekend) and (currently injured) Coenie Oosthuizen – it was the best possible pack they could field and we did well then. We’ve put in the work and I’m very confident we’ll put it right.”

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing


  • orrinf8 - 2012-07-04 17:15


      chaplinncharlie - 2012-07-04 17:46

      is dit n stormers ding om so in CAPS te skryf ook???

      orrinf8 - 2012-07-04 17:54

      ek skryf nie, ek sing : HIER KOM ONS SE WP'S, HIER KOM ONS SE WP'S, HIER KOM ONS SE WP'S !! :-P

      john.edwards.733450 - 2012-07-04 18:36

      Maybe you should adopt .. 'WE"RE ON A ROAD TO NOWHERE" , talking heads .. seems more appropriate for a Stormers supporter . We're on a road to nowhere Come on inside Takin' that ride to nowhere We'll take that ride ...

      sean.lambie.3 - 2012-07-04 20:14

      Is it true that Pollard didn`t want to sign for the Stormers because they wanted to remove his 2 front teeth ?? lol !!!!!!!!!!!!

      sean.bagley.50 - 2012-07-04 20:56

      The South African Conference style of play the way I see it: 1.The Bulls are playing a 60% & 40% attacking & defensive rugby. 2.The Stormers are playing a 100% defensive rugby. 3.The Sharks are playing a 70% & 30% attacking & defensive rugby. 4.The Cheetahs are trying to play 100% attacking rugby. 5.Lions, well looking at the overall log table then they just making up the numbers. Point is some people complain about how the Stormers are only playing a defensive orientated game instead of a attacking free flowing style of rugby. Winning rugby is all that matters so why should the Stormers go against the grain? The Bulls played "boring rugby" according to some with their kick and chase game,but still won the Super Rugby title in 2007.Yet nobody complained about that achievement afterwards. For the past 10 years the Stormers have been living off scraps by not having a dominant forward moving pack and just running the ball from everywhere on the park just for the sake of it. The Stormers now do have a competitive pack with a safety first gameplan and its so far so good in topping the South African conference table. I'd rather we Stormers have a "bore-fest" style of play than a try-fest style and we'd still be top of the conference.Defense is as big a part of the game as offense. When the Stormers played "attacking" rugby a few years back, did it get us to the playoffs? No. Its our defensive style of play that got us where we are at the minute.

      Tom - 2012-07-04 20:56

      Good post sean

      orrinf8 - 2012-07-04 22:08


      john.edwards.733450 - 2012-07-05 01:46

      Sean I don't think winning is the most important thing . Rugby is entertainment . Honestly, I cannot stay awake through a Stormers game. If it's not fun watching them play what's the use ? There is no fundamental reason why the Stormers with all the resources at their disposal cannot play winning AND entertaining rugby . You fans must just stop being happy with the crap WPRU is serving up . Useless administration and useless coach that banks everything on Nienaber's defense. You'll suffer through the season watching boring rugby just to be clobbered against in the playoffs or final. What do you have then for all the boring rugby ? .. no cup and no fun. Cheetahs fans are better off ?

      john.edwards.733450 - 2012-07-05 01:53

      as for the bull & boring rugby .. the some are jealous Stormers supporters

      jed.vonallemann - 2012-07-05 07:57

      Randomdude, you correct. But just remember Bull's were very boring , between 1997-2002 ( If my stat's are correct you lads won a MASSIVE 10 games through that period). Then in 2004 Meyer took over and introduced a Forward dominated game.(Sound familiar same game the Stormers are adopting) Very physical in the rucks and mauls and every opportunity the Bull's got it was kick for the corner and drive the ball over with the forwards. The rest of the country were screaming how boring the Bull's brand was, but did that stop Meyer? ( Sean the kick and chase play came after the Bull's won there first title). When the Stormers supporters were shouting at the Bull's supporter's how boring there rugby was, did the Bull's supporters care? Nope, all they said was at least we still WINNING!

      jason.children - 2012-07-05 10:29

      I would rather watch a war of attrition between two teams than a try fest! I would rather watch gutsy defense on your own line for 5 minutes and denying the opposition a try than a cricket score game! This is Rugby, Its war and defense is vitally important!! This any true Rugby supporter will tell you! NOTE: I said supporter not FAN which most on these sites are!

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-05 10:45

      good for u jason. but i mean, are u serious? you prefer watching that? u must love the aviva premiership which is right up your hershey highway i only watch the sharks, cheetahs, and bulls games. i have stopped watching stormers games completely now along with any aviva rugby. it is like watching soccer for 90 minutes and no score. whats the point? all i can say is, if u really like that, enjoy it. f me

      anwar.addinall - 2012-07-05 13:39

      If you don't watch it then you not qualified to comment on it.

      john.edwards.733450 - 2012-07-05 15:59

      Vallemj,I was certainly not happy with the Bulls back then and I stopped watching them as all true supporters SHOULD do when they are being served crap. That's how we can force some change . Jason , I think you're in the minority as far as Rugby supporters go. I suspect most of use prefer games where there is a close contest with 5 - 8 *manufactured* tries scored in a game with a good mix of some aggressive forward attack and defense . it's offense AND defense that makes for a good Rugby game & team . Be honest now there is nothing more beautiful in a game of Rugby than a beautifully worked team back-line move with some individual brilliance thrown in. I thought the Stormers were a very good team in 2010 but you've moved backwards since then .

  • jason.children - 2012-07-04 17:25

    Come on boys, you can pull it thru!

      sean.lambie.3 - 2012-07-04 20:10

      We`ll see , I can`t see it happening !

      anwar.addinall - 2012-07-05 08:30

      Hehehe. Good one, Das.

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-05 10:48

      pulling something thru ur ass is not a good thing...btw

  • tom.tardis - 2012-07-04 17:31

    but where were they born? are they western province born?

      orrinf8 - 2012-07-04 17:37


      anwar.addinall - 2012-07-05 08:31

      Jou lekker ding!

  • jouma.setannie - 2012-07-04 17:38

    This where are they born question is getting really boring now! This is a professional sport, if you don't get paid at the province you're from, go where you get paid accordingly.

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-04 17:51

      where were u born? who do u support? disgraceful thieves

      sean.lambie.3 - 2012-07-04 20:11

      Stormers fans will always cry foul , but if they get handed a minimum of 4 games (16 points) by the ref, that`s fine !!

  • Johann - 2012-07-04 18:49

    As ek so kyk na die Stormers se skrums regdeur die toernooi, dan is ek al klaar bekommerd. Ons skrum was wisselvallig genoeg, enige verdere ontwrigting kan die Stormers nog lekker in die g@t kom byt...

  • OOSTHUIZEN.GAZZA - 2012-07-04 19:01


  • RetiefC - 2012-07-04 19:10

    Die Stormers behoort hierdie een op papier te wen. Hulle speel egter in Bloemfontein... op gras. Die Cheetahs se skrum gaan julle klaarmaak! Go Cheetahs!

      Stormkaap - 2012-07-04 19:48

      ampie, hulle speel nie op gras in Bloem nie.. it's more like concrete there...

      RetiefC - 2012-07-04 20:32

      Daspoort, ek doen dit net as die ref hulle laat wen. Stormkaap, ek stem saam met jou. Bloem het 'n harde oppervlak.

      Johan - 2012-07-05 04:22

      Shut up Daspoort

      bulla.loftus - 2012-07-05 10:51

      @ampie, kan nie meer saam jou stem nie! Wyse man

  • etienne.eloff - 2012-07-04 20:49

    Listen you uneducated pretending to be rugby's knowledge, where does the springboks come from? Not from Pretoria nor Durban....We all know Sharks buy from Cheetahs and Bulls from the WP? Want to compare the history? Suck on something worth it....

      anton.bischoff - 2012-07-04 21:04

      From whom and what did you suck that story

      Tom - 2012-07-04 22:01

      Where did the springboks come from, I guess 99% originated from holland and then some from Namaqualand and some from England. Thieves

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-05 10:49

      they all come from the same place....the muff

      les.gombart - 2012-07-05 12:13

      @Tom... you need some help boet! Fast catching up to Harold & company with your inane comments :-). Whilst I am Stormer, I hope that your Bulls get into the semi's with my Stormers 'cos we need 2 good SA teams competing for top spot.... I know the flack is going to be coming my way from bulls / sharks fans, but nevertheless Stormers greetings

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-05 12:30

      my posts are 100% inane 80% of the time i would be happy with any team from SA in the playoffs, just not the stormers. i cant reciprocate the love u showed me

  • mariusvdbank - 2012-07-05 13:17

    Random "dude" is from another planet of course and usually I ignore aliens like they themselves ignore reality...and the scoreboard, not to mention the log and the fact that Stormers most probably will end this weekend at no 1 "when" Chiefs stutters against Crusaders.

      john.edwards.733450 - 2012-07-06 05:05

      Is that what your little magic 8 ball told you? .. mine told me that the bulls will beat the sharks and the cheetahs the stormers & the stomers will end 2012 without their first SR title. 0 SR titles after 17 yrs , no cups in 11, two seat of your pants wins one care of CJ . ..aliens ignore reality ? huh? Are those space aliens then ? ..and I'm the one that doesn't have a grip on reality .

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