Stormers take it by the scruff

2011-04-02 22:08

Comment: Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town – The South African conference in Super Rugby may have a way to go yet, but the Stormers now have a truly iron grip on it.

And even if last year’s tournament runners-up, who also remain unbeaten and leaders of the overall 2011 table, may just find that their main threat to going one step further lies abroad this year, they have fired successive, powerful shots across the bows of their leading local adversaries.

An admission: I backed the Bulls when the Stormers visited Loftus, and got it wrong. I also tipped the Sharks to restore winning ways when Schalk Burger’s troops faced their second acid derby test of the season against the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

Oops, wrong again.

Instead the purposeful, well-drilled, quick-thinking and increasingly steely Cape side not only won 16-6 in a good old arm-wrestle, but they also repeated their Pretoria trick (it was 23-13 then) by denying the opposition even a losing bonus point, which only strengthens their dominance of the conference.

The Stormers hold an eight-point SA lead over the Bulls, who at least had the satisfaction of reminding everyone of their title-holding pedigree by doggedly beating the Hurricanes 26-14 in their first overseas fixture, and nine-point advantage over the Sharks who have slipped to third.

It is a fairly humbling descent by the KwaZulu-Natalians, who had looked so competent in winning all of their first four outings but have now surrendered three on the trot.

There is loads of rugby left in the conference, but with the Stormers having elegantly leapt their toughest domestic hurdles by beating both the Bulls and Sharks away, it is hard to see them being hauled in.

They have the satisfaction of knowing not only that both key rivals must yet visit Newlands, but also that these trailing outfits have to lock horns with each other twice: you would think the only chance of the Stormers being overtaking lies in one of them winning both encounters and also upsetting the apple cart in Cape Town.

Of course the Sharks are “through” with touring, which is some consolation for their current plight, and the Bulls are a morale-boosting one-from-one abroad with three to play.

But Victor Matfield and company have the ominous task next of trying to knock over the formidable Crusaders, well rested after a bye weekend, in Nelson on Saturday.

And it is not as though the prospect of travelling to New Zealand and Australia especially daunts the rampant Stormers, who have a reputation as comfortable travellers.

Their 2011 Antipodean calendar (from mid-May) is also a relatively kind one as things stand, with the Chiefs, Blues, Brumbies and Rebels their obstacles then.

A week ahead of the trip, they play the Crusaders, presently second overall and three points behind them, at Newlands – fuelled by the knowledge that they knocked over those very opponents by 28 points at the same venue last year.

But Allister Coetzee and the rest of his Stormers brains trust are big on the “live in the present” principle and will be focused only for the next few days on the tricky little home game against the Reds, currently best Aussie side and third overall, on Saturday.

The Queenslanders opened their mini-tour of South Africa by staving off the Lions 30-25 in Johannesburg.

It will be an interesting clash of styles, with the Reds one of the more audacious and enterprising sides around – as you would expect when you have the slippery alliance of Will Genia and Quade Cooper pulling the backline strings – and the Stormers famed for their defensive polish and discipline.

That was very much in evidence once again as they earned their first Durban victory in Super Rugby in seven years, scurrying and harrying the slightly jet-lagged Sharks into elementary mistakes with their amazing “momentum prevention” ability.

The game was no spectacle for the purist, a situation hardly aided by bouts of rain, but Burger’s men will not give a hoot about that as they achieved their main objective with a bit of daylight to spare.

You have to take your hat off to their captain: the blond Bok dynamo has a strange knack of sometimes reserving his more stellar performances for the game immediately after he has had a substantial layoff.

Clearly his natural zest for combat quickly eclipses the “cobwebs” factor; he was a livewire for most of the 72 minutes he played, and scored the game’s only try after a decisive break by the classy Jaque Fourie.

There is a certain, understandable trepidation worldwide about the rich World Cup potential of a Dan Carter/Sonny Bill Williams pairing at Nos 10 and 12 for New Zealand later in the year, but South Africans would do well to remember that, as a counter in many respects, the Boks still boast a seriously decent combo nearby at 12 and 13 in Stormers colleagues Jean de Villiers and Fourie respectively.

The crowd at Mr Price Kings Park on Saturday, mostly a little reluctantly, can testify to that.


  • rugby_guru - 2011-04-02 23:11

    Well done stormers, us sharks where pathetic.. hope you guys go all the way... us sharks must catch a wake up... well done saffa

      BCC - 2011-04-03 01:29

      The rugby_idiot made to eat his words, again!

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-04-03 08:03

      @Guru - damn there was some physicality in that game. The crunches were heard in Libya. And nah, I think you Sharks will still be ok, Lambie & Deysel back in black = massive boost. As I said somewhere else, it's a pity that Marius Joubert couldn't join you earlier.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-04-03 08:05

      @BCC - not even sure what your interest is here gnome. The way I see it, you are an avid Sader and AB 'fan'. Which makes your being here testimony to the fact the South African rugby SCARES you..........

      Mark - 2011-04-03 08:07

      gratious winner

      PJ - 2011-04-03 09:44

      Just keep it up and keep the feet on solid ground. To beat the Bulls in Pretoria and the Sharks in Durbs is not easy.

      rugby_guru - 2011-04-03 11:21

      Pj correct, stormers are writing history.. time for supporters to see they a team to be contested with.. next year I hope its the lions turn.. this is so good for rugby development and rugby as a whole in our county .... time for sa to win another super rugby title..

      Otello - 2011-04-03 12:37

      John Smith needs a wake-up call. He was pathetic. The handling errors on both sides were shocking.

  • j k - 2011-04-02 23:12

    Can someone do something about this red background - not so lekker on my eyes

      Steve Wonderboy - 2011-04-02 23:43

      thought it was only me. messing up my eyes big time too.

      Claude - 2011-04-03 06:50

      Control + 4 times gets rid of the Vodacom is in the Red Ad. But the you need to go out of Sport 24 or Control - 4 time to get back to normal.

  • Robschele - 2011-04-02 23:30

    Well done Stormers. A hard and fast match but plenty of mistakes by Sharks.

  • Bonzi Bonzi - 2011-04-03 00:49

    Screw this imperialistic sell-out (our national independence) vodacom. I'm going either MTN or CellC (proudly South African)....It feels All Pommie and Australian right now....

      Carl Muller - 2011-04-03 09:27

      Agree with you, when I renewed 2 contracts this last month I compared the packages. Vodacom was R100 more expensive on all the packages. Guess where there advertising money comes from? Poor suckers who use them.

  • Camiel Phillips - 2011-04-03 01:42

    Good days work but still too much kicking by the scrumhalf after winning the the ball.Its too easy to. to get rid of the ball if you dont know what to do with it by kicking it away.Possession is the key to scoring tries.

      FuzzyStorm - 2011-04-03 09:35

      They have generally kept ball in hand the last few games but yesterday that approach was not on. With a substantial lead it was better to kick the slippery ball upfield and wait for the Sharks to knock it on which was kinda inevitable in that weather

      Logoll - 2011-04-03 11:32

      That was a game plan, especially when the rain came down. They knew the Sharks had to run the all and in those conditions the Stormers big defence would knck the ball loose in the tackles. Sometime especially when it rains you have to play the percentage rugby and not run it from everywhere. I would have thought that would have been obvious to everybody who has watched a Lions game this year. They hold on and run from everywhere, and then only run in to trouble.

  • Camiel Phillips - 2011-04-03 01:48

    Lastly,the Stormers have the Springbok backline,i.e.De Villiers,Fourie and Habana,so get the ball to them and not kick and they must run after it.Kick and charge is not rugby.Ball in hand that how you score a try try.

      Logoll - 2011-04-03 11:36

      Again read my reply above. Funny that you are complaining about the only team not to have lost a single match this year yet, not even a warmup match. I remember after the Neo Africa warm-ups they said "ja the Sharks may have lost but they look the much better team, they ran it from everywhere and looked good." Guess what that same team that tried to run it with ball in hand again lost against the team everybody said in the beginning of the year would not account for much. So maybe it is called playing tactical rugby and playing the situation not just blindly following a game plan that doesn't work.

  • prins500 - 2011-04-03 03:40

    With all this RED in my face I just can not read anymore... thanks FODACOM.. you screwing with my eye`s.. But.. Well done to the STORMERS... This is your year.. brink the CUP home..!!

  • ChumScrubber - 2011-04-03 06:15

    The Stormers did not prevent the Sharks bonus point, it was the Sharks goal kicking that let them down in this regard. Stormers and Sharks have great defence, Stormers have the edge though. Missing Lambie I'd say. Too many errors, but I never expected my team to win this one anyway. Not a bad loss though, it was a tight game. Watch out for the Bulls now, they're on the rise again!

  • Jaco - 2011-04-03 07:27

    Well done Stormers. You must just remember what happened to the Blue Bulls in 2005. They won every game during the compitition, dominated the final against the Cheetahs until an error from Brian Habana caused the ball to bounce into Meyer Bosman's hands. Thanks for coming.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-04-03 08:07

      @Jaco - ernstig. Op die stadium is meeste van ons net dankbaar om die Loftus en Kings Park "aap" van ons backs af te kry....Finals, what finals? As far as I know we are about halfway through the comp.....

      Jaco - 2011-04-03 08:33

      SAFFA you don't have to admit but deep down all of you believe that this is your year. I'm just saying it's worse to lose like that than any other way. I think if Superbru existed that year nobody would have predicted a Vrystaat win.

      Brannas - 2011-04-03 12:51

      Stormers is kak, Hulle is op die " Downward curve ' nou. Jy kon sien hoe hulle sukkel teen die sharks. Die berg bobejane het te gou 'gepeak' en van hier af gaan dit net afdraende wees vir hulle, Die Bulle begin nou eers spoed optel, van nou af is dit reguit beker toe vir die Bulle.

      Jaco - 2011-04-03 14:35

      Ai, die beheptheid deesdae om elke liewe fout wat al ooit gemaak is, aan Habana toe te dig. Aan my naamgenoot: die blaps het gebeur deurdat Fourie du Preez en die heelagter daardie jaar (sy naam ontgaan my nou) saam vir die hoë bal gespring het. Net mooi hokol met Habana uit te waai nie.

      Jaco - 2011-04-03 15:35

      Aan MY naamgenoot - dit was Johan Roets, en dis regtig besides the point. Word groot.

      CliffBradley - 2011-04-04 13:50

      Brannas : Lekker ou brannas , jy is so slim , mens kan met jou spoke oproep !!!

  • mollie.kruger - 2011-04-03 07:45

    Wll done Stormers (my team), but don't get big-headed too soon. Very long season ahead...

      BardofAvon - 2011-04-03 08:11

      Wise words, mollie. After the Stormers beat us at Loftus, the Stormers fans carried on like they had won the whole tournament. If and when the Stormers play the Bulls in a knockout game, that will be another story altogether. Love your backline though. The old-timers are finding some serious form ahead of the you-know-what!

      Logoll - 2011-04-03 11:43

      I agree but there is something that angers me on these forums. When a Stormers supporter says hey this is starting to look good you will get 15 Bulls and Sharks supporters reminding us that the year is long. Now look at ChumScrubber's comment above, "The Bulls are on the rise again". The Bulls managed to beat the Lions and then the Hurricanes both of those teams have only managed a single win this season and now suddenly the bulls are contenders again ?? I agree it is a long season but I will enjoy this win and the previous wins and I will say bloody good show Stormers keep it up.

  • The Odd One Too - 2011-04-03 07:46

    The way I see this is that the Stormers played the best they possibly could, whereas the Sharks didn't. Too many mistakes, too many bad decisions. Had McCloud seen Ndungane on his inside when he broke away, it may have been a different outcome. There were many other incidents during the game where silly mistakes cost the Sharks dearly. Thus any evidence that the Stormers are a great side, incapable of being beaten, would be very premature at this point. Let's see how they go against the Crusaders first. IF they can take them down, then they will have my respect, but right now to me it seems that they are riding on results where their opponents have been misfiring, rather than them producing rugby to be proud of.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-04-03 08:00

      DHL would be delighted to courier you a platter of select Cape cheese to go with your whine mate. Check the scoreboard - check the log. We might not be firing 100% but we are winning.......And no, we have not won anything yet, nor have we set ourselves up as serious contenders - most Stormer fans (myself included) are just celebrating the fact that we managed to visit BOTH of our "choke" stadiums (Loftus & Kings Park) and WIN. Nothing more, nothing less. We are also celebrating a great start to the season.....and I'm pretty sure if it were your team sitting top of the pile, you would be 2.

      Durasmart - 2011-04-03 08:03

      Agree. The Stormers are currently playing as good as they are ever going to get this year, whereas both the Sharks and the Bulls are still playing way below their true potential, but when they start firing on all cylinders, the Stormers better beware..

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-04-03 08:11

      @Duradumb - The Sharks will get better mate....fact. But for now, read it...and howl. 1 Stormers 6 6 0 0 148 72 76 1 29 2 Bulls 6 4 2 0 146 138 8 1 21 3 Sharks 7 4 3 0 166 140 26 4 20

      BardofAvon - 2011-04-03 08:13

      Agreed, Odd One. It's all about getting to, and winning, the semi final. A home semi would be an achievement though. But until the semifinals, nothing amounts to a row of beans.

      Robschele - 2011-04-03 08:15

      Plenty of errors by Sharks. Mcleod is one incident, another is Bismarch knocking the ball with a virtual open goal line after a kick struck the upright (proofs that a follow-up is always good after a kick). But think of it this way. Was those errors and blunders not because of the pressure applied by the Stormers. They made it a fast game right from the start and the Sharks might have expected a slow forwards match. If the Stormers can apply the same pressure on the Crusaders and force them to mistakes, then it might be said that the Stormers won because the Saders had their worst game of the season.

      thumper - 2011-04-03 10:27

      To all you "if this and if that" sharks supporters...if your aunties had balls they'd be your uncles, but they don't. Live with it and understand and accept that you were outplayed on the day. How do you know what the Stormers are still capable of? It doesn't help to dream, rather analyse the cold, hard facts at present.

      Guz - 2011-04-03 11:41

      @The Odd One Too, played the best they possibly could? Sure didn't look that to me - on the other hand...I'd say that for the Sharks yes. Stormers take it week by week, horses for courses. Against Western Force we just showed...we've got firing power as well, but if it makes you feel any better, you carry on thinking like that.

      Logoll - 2011-04-03 12:09

      In the Neo Africa warm-ups the Stromers beat the Sharks and the guppies where on these boards again saying it means nothing wait until we get you in Durban on 3 April then we will see who the best team is. Well we waited and again we saw the Stormers winning the match. Now you say only if they beat the Crusaders then they will be a good team. Why, because the Sharks were given a rugby lesson by the Crusaders ? Nobody said the Stormers are unbeatable, we are simply saying THE SHARKS weren't good enough to be us. And for you to say that the only reason the Stormers are winning is because their opponents aren't firing is idiotic. Have you looked at the logs recently. In six matches we have only conceded 4 tries, that has to say something. And finally the only notable victory for the Sharks was against the Blues who are second in their log other than that, you beat the Cheetahs (last in the SA log), Force (last in the aussie log), The Rebels (who has conceded 31 tries this season already and then only by two points). And on a side note if and but's count for absolutely nothing on the scoreboard. If the Stormers are so inept what then does it say about the Sharks and Bulls hey. I guess it says that they are totally useless then.

  • BardofAvon - 2011-04-03 08:19

    "Iron grip" puh-leeeez. This thing hasn't even started. Very "South African" to get ahead of oneself after some initial success.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-04-03 08:46

      Agree William. However, you are dealing with the Cape Town media here...and I as a Capetonian and rabid Stormer/WP groupie find our media rats MOST ANNOYING with all their hype and pom poms. Alistair and Co find it JUST as painful....I can tell you that.

      FuzzyStorm - 2011-04-03 09:45

      i was in Pretoria for a month and if you think the CTN media are bad ylou should have read the Gauteng papaers prior to the Bulls game. according to them the Stormers did not even deserve to be on the same field s the Bulls. Wonder what the KZN papers said priot to the game? Just a thought - i see not one bitch about the ref, seems everyone agrees hehad a good game.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-04-03 09:52

      @Fuzzy Storm - yeah....they are a necessary evil and they generally suck, the world over :) My personal fave is JJ Harmse....who either truly believes the drivel he writes, or he is paid a fat retainer by the BBRFU - I'm not sure which option is scarier :)

      Guz - 2011-04-03 11:48

      Well, it maybe early days...but the pressure will start building on other teams as games starts running out (Just look at the Lions?) All I know is, the Stormers is at the top of the log and deserves to be there they way they've played. Some good away games may even proof to all the plonkers that the Stormers is a good side.

      BardofAvon - 2011-04-03 13:23

      @SAFFA-CAT and FuzzyStorm : I don't have a problem with a partisan writer (erm, as are we, for example!). What is irritating, though, is when opinions by ostensibly professional journalists, are stated as facts, viz, "chief writer" Houwing's opining that the Stormers' "truly have an iron grip [on the tourney]". With respect, I don't think JJ would write something like that unless it were true enough... as in a team having achieved a home final, for example. I think that JJ's rugby writing is pretty damn objective, even though he loves the Bulls. @Rob Houwing: What is the difference between a "truly iron grip" and an "iron grip"? Writing 101.

      CliffBradley - 2011-04-04 07:01

      FuzzyStorm: You are wrong there , an idiot called LLOYD & his boksom bende have been moaning like old drains on the other articles , but I suspect it takes diff folks ( even simple minded) to make a crowd !!!

      JohnnyBB - 2011-04-04 08:02

      .....DHL (still no cups) Stormers.... ....will fade again, .....eventually.. always....

  • Vetkoek1 - 2011-04-03 08:28

    Ag there is always the predictable line being rolled out that the Stormers are as good as they are going to get and the Sharks and Bulls can only get better blah blah etc etc. By counter I could argue that the Stormers have been winning below 100% but they are still winning and when they hit that 100% they will be an even tougher proposition. Or that they have let through only 4 tries in 6 games, which shows how much pressure they put their opponents under. Or that they have won at 2 of the toughest venues in SA? Or this or that etc. Instead, I will satisfy myself with the fact that we are 6 from 6 and that right now us supporters don't need to clutch at ridiculous excuses or assumptions, because we are feeling confident. The whole "they didn't win it, we lost it" excuse is really one of the most pathetic ones that a person can roll out.

      Bootman - 2011-04-03 09:17

      So n bek moet jam kry

  • SAFFA-CAT - 2011-04-03 09:05

    I hope the only reason you chaps are up at this time is for the 7's.......we are kicking Pommie @ss at the moment :) NZ in the final later.....

      Brannas - 2011-04-03 13:12

      Hierdie SURFER-KAT praat darem maar nou maar lekker stront jong, mens kan sien hy weet net niks van rugby af nie, hy wil net sy naam hier orals sien, Die ding het " verbal diaree " soos die Ingelse sal se'. Hou bietjie jou bek stil vir n' slag of praat commin sense asb. As jy iets van rugby af weet dan sal jy kan sien die stormertjies peak te gou en dat hulle hulle gatte sonder n' spiel gaan sien een van die dae, die bloues tel nou eers spoed op kerel, hulle gaan weer met die beker wegloop die seisoen. So SURFER-KAT, jy weet niks van rugby af nie, jy probeer net slim klink. hou jou bek en gaan kak in die yskas.

      CliffBradley - 2011-04-04 07:05

      Brannas: ASSEBLIEF: Iemand soos daai patetiese FLOU TRIL ondersteuner LLOYD & sy boksom bende kan daarvan beskuldig word , inteendeel ,as jy "gebotherhet" om die comments te lees voor jy die BRANNAS klaar maak ,sou jy opgelet het dat hy n' sy is en dat sy baie vanr ugby weet , meer as 60% Flou Tril ondersteuners saam !!!

      CliffBradley - 2011-04-04 07:07

      BRANNAS: "gaan kak in die yskas. " Koekom sal sy dit wil doen , ons span het dit klaar op MOFTUS , met jou span gedoen !!!!

      JohnnyBB - 2011-04-04 08:05

      ......and how many Cups have the Stormers won since 2001...???? ....just asking....

      Lloyd - 2011-04-04 08:19

      Nothing, niks, zero, nada, fokkol.

      CliffBradley - 2011-04-04 11:25

      Lloyd : At least we can count , it is a start - 2002 - 2010 =11 years , You should get you school fees back - LOW CLASS RUBBISH

  • rugby_guru - 2011-04-03 09:18

    ADD sa will always stick up for each other.. so back to ur NZ thread dumbass, the stormers doing well is great for SA rugby, that's what you need to realize one of our top team will always shine, and that is all that matters to me... coz SA are the world rugby champs, remember that chop... a combined effort of our provincial teams... and we coming to NZ, to trash you guys at home... so I hope the stormers take the s15, or the bulls or any SA team if the sharks don't, just be scared, we going to own you guys later this year...

      BCC - 2011-04-03 10:27

      @rugby_idiot, just like last year ay numb nuts. You really 'owned us'. What a joke, world champs, yes (and well done) but not worlds best by a long way. Do you remember being beaten by Scotland? Scotland have never beaten the ABs in our entire history. Go look up the rankings, but no doubt one you will explain that away by one of your many idiotic conspiracy theories. Worlds best chump is all you that are.

      rugby_guru - 2011-04-03 11:12

      Ja look ADD, south Africa will smash you guys this year. NZ is the biggest choakers alive.. we the best until you are world champs shut your mouth, bulls are back to back super rugby champs, stormers could win this year... Ja we played bad in the trinations but we will own you again this year.. south Africa is way to powerful for your sheep herders

      BCC - 2011-04-03 20:41

      You speak like an inbred monkey.

  • saliem - 2011-04-03 09:21

    Stormers still have a long way to go before they peak :P So far so good...

      JohnnyBB - 2011-04-04 08:06

      ....they going downward from now .... .....faders.....

  • Carl Muller - 2011-04-03 09:24

    The Stormers played well. Not a nice game though. Bulls forever.

  • plettpc - 2011-04-03 09:41

    Yes, Skalk had a blinder, and as somebody said, always after a layoff, Fitness? His tackling and pure harrasing was fantastic to watch. While everybody gave good, I believe it's that lead from the front attitude which wins games. Francois,Johnson,etc?

  • GraemeBB - 2011-04-03 10:16

    Any supporter who cant see the Stormer's dominace is just being blinded by pride and loyalty. They are the premier team in SA now - and these are facts. I have no problem saying this, because I enjoy every game, and some of my favourite players play in different provinces. They can be beaten though, all teams can. I still would like to point out the dirty play. After Bakkies has been spoken of so poorly on this site, it is important that we now give Bismark the recognition he deserves. And Bekker too. Between these two, we can crown the new King of Dirt.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-04-03 10:23

      @Graeme - to be honest, I think after the last few weeks of "foul play" jokes:- silly citings, false citings(Bakkies), citings that SHOULD have materialised yet never did (Highlanders punching, Sin Bin Williams shoulder charge) etc etc, the players have sort of decided amongst themselves to give it horns......and to hell with the citing commissioners......Bekker must be careful going forward.....and Bissie, eish, he is such a good player - there is no need for his "he-man" nonsense. Niggly off the ball shite will be the Boks it has been before.

      GraemeBB - 2011-04-03 10:30

      And everyone who is pinning hope on the Saders to beat the Stormers are obviously hurting. I wont support a NZ team against any of our teams. Poor losers. Admit it, the Sharks were kak. They were dismal, and Lambie would not have made a difference. Now you guys can look forward to beating the Bulls : - )

      crocowild - 2011-04-03 10:43

      So you probably see now the truth in the words of crocowill.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-04-03 10:50

      @GraemeBB - apart from the BB bit in your name, and our seriously clash of view in terms of Sir Duane Vermeulen, we might have more in common than you think - as RUGBY fans. Believe it or not, I LOVE rugby a heckuva lot more that what I 'dislike' any team or individual player.

      ChumScrubber - 2011-04-03 12:05

      GraemeBB - I agree that the Stormers are the best Saffer team at the moment, however I just don't think they can take that much out of Saterdays win as some make out. I was not surprised they won at all. The real test will be the Saders. (that test applies to the status of the Saders as well, maybe we are glorifying them more than they deserve?) And ja, the okes must stop their bad behaviour - it seems some okes are on steroids - bad stuff that. All we need is for one of our top players to get a red card and banned for a few matches - can't afford to sacrifice depth in this comp.

      GraemeBB - 2011-04-03 16:08

      @SAFFA - I respect that, even though you dont have a BB behind your name.

      GraemeBB - 2011-04-03 16:24

      @Chum Scrubber - yup, they are the best, for the moment. It is crazy how quickly the balance has swung. S14 - Bulls on top, CC - Sharks on top, S15 - Stormers on top. The Saders is also a test for my guys this weekend, and I do fear the worst, but hope for the best. But they do set the benchmark, as an attacking team.

  • Bandleader - 2011-04-03 10:16

    Stormers are nowhere near their best yet. Maybe on purpose? Allister knows that player management means fewer injuries, and he rests players well. They will gear up a few times as the competition takes a physical toll on injuries. Then they'll be able to capitalise for max points. Let's see...

  • crocowild - 2011-04-03 10:51

    The Stormers are already riding the crest of the wave and they are still some way from hitting top form. Their biggest test will however be their next game as Allister so nicely points out,take it game by game and don t let their heads get swollen.

      BardofAvon - 2011-04-03 13:30

      croco... I hear you, but for me the Stormers' biggest test will come when they get into a knockout. Anyone can play well, but to win a knockout is another kettle of sea harvest... That is where the Bulls are strong, even though we sometimes get through to the semis by the proverbial gatskraap. The Stormers and Sharks have to prove they can get that big fish onto the deck - and keep it there, without it wrigging back into the sea like what happened to the poor Sharks in 2007, when at the death they kicked the ball in the direction of a rampaging Bryan Habana.

  • Hannes van der Linde - 2011-04-04 07:41

    Well done Boytjies!!! STORM VOORT!!!

  • BaronSmurf - 2011-04-04 08:25

    Saturday it was again proven that ,Morne ,Spies and Olivier are regaining their form,Habana i,m afraid is not in any form what so ever.Deon Fourie without a doubt the best hooker in SA.Burger played well,Smit was poor,,,,The Stormers must be carefull not to lose momentum

  • Chadwick - 2011-04-04 10:29

    Wll it sucks the Sharks lost. But I support them all the way. Well done to the Stormers. The game really wasnt that good though (even though I was already a bit tipsy by the time it started lol). Not much exitement, both teams had decent defense and that resulted in only 1 try being made. JLP, krap kicking just like against the Crusaders. Conversions and penalties are so important and when you keep missing them you might aswel walk off the field and jump in ice water. I hope the Stormers have a successful abroad tour, it's now up to them to represent SA rugby. Still alot of games to go though so I'm hoping the precious Sharks will wake up.

      Chadwick - 2011-04-04 10:31

      And the mistakes! I wont even go there. It was like watching a team of 12 year olds playing for the B team. Seriously Sharks, you all have great ball handling skills, USE THEM.

      Oukoos - 2011-04-04 15:55

      The Sharks did have a crappy game with a lot of lost oppertunities on the day. They are, however, still a classy outfit and I will put my money on the Sharks in a Shark/Bull clash.

  • warren fourie - 2011-04-04 11:46

    I havent Heard of jetlag traveling from the uk......

  • Spires - 2011-04-04 13:50

    Love the pic, best number 6,7 and 8 in SA

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