Stormers tour 'without panic'

2011-05-08 14:30

Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town - A lot of their reasonably renowned "safari spirit" will be required by the Stormers if they are to stay among the front-runners in the increasingly tense Super Rugby campaign.

Their four-match tour of New Zealand and Australia comes at a disadvantageous, advanced stage of the campaign and could well make or break their 2011 challenge.

It also begins (versus the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday) against the backdrop of an expensive, if narrow home defeat to the admirably composed Crusaders at Newlands on Saturday, which rather jolts their quest to finish among the top two overall before the finals series get underway - the Stormers now lie fourth in points terms although they still top the South African conference fairly comfortably.

Going back to the days when Alan Solomons was head coach in the late 1990s and the Cape franchise went through a brief period where they were arguably as competitive as the class of this and last year, a philosophy of regarding the Antipodean mission as an adventure and a pleasure rather than a burden has taken hold with some success over the years.

And there is a case for saying that getting away from the ever-present, home-town pressures from public and press may be no bad thing for a few weeks as they chew on why they have surrendered two of their last three home games - the earlier one being the 19-6 reverse to Aussie leading lights, the Reds.

While the Stormers management have not yet openly stated what their minimum ambition is on the overseas tour - the other matches are against the Blues, Brumbies and Rebels - impromptu mathematics suggests that at least three wins may be required if they are to return to either of the top two slots overall ahead of the final two fixtures back on local soil.

Coach Allister Coetzee insisted at the press conference after the 20-14 defeat to the Crusaders: "We're going on tour without panic; we're still No 1 in our own conference.

"We'll pick things up when we meet at the airport (on Sunday) and we're looking forward to a good tour ... (laughing) we'll enjoy being away from you guys for a change!

"We're back in the saddle at the Chiefs next week. I'm proud of the guys, what they stand for as the Stormers, the way they were (pressing fiercely for a win) until the 82nd or 83rd minute.

"The vibe in the camp remains very high ... our chins are high. There's a long way to go in the competition.

"The (deserving) side won on the night after a fine game of rugby. We made unnecessary mistakes and couldn't pull it through. All credit to the Crusaders for sticking to their guns despite their injuries and grinding it out.

"We made silly errors at key moments - a lost lineout here, a missed (penalty) kick for touch there. They are things we know we can fix. Sometimes you must accept (defeat), take in on the chin."

Captain Schalk Burger maintained the upbeat theme: "We all enjoy touring; it's good fun. We're under no illusions about the (difficulty of) getting good results but as a group we enjoy going to great places.

"The travel is a bit of a long one (to New Zealand first) but once we get through that we'll enjoy the four weeks abroad."

Next weekend's fixtures (home teams first):

Friday: Highlanders v Hurricanes, Reds v Blues.

Saturday: Chiefs v Stormers, Brumbies v Lions, Bulls v Rebels, Cheetahs v Crusaders. Byes: Sharks, Force, Waratahs.


  • nohorse - 2011-05-08 14:34

    Is Lloyd busy opening his Mother's Day presents? Enjoy the attention my friend.

      Lloyd - 2011-05-08 16:09

      Wow, that is the amesomest chirp ever. Brilliant!

  • Charlie - 2011-05-08 15:57

    They will win all 4.

      RJ - 2011-05-09 07:54

      They have2

  • WPBEFONK - 2011-05-08 16:03

    I think we'll take ALL 4. Then come back and BEAT the HELL out of the Bulls and Cheetahs. This is our year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ek wonder wat maak LLOYD, seker besig om vleis te braai vir sy MA, sy Fling en sy Suster? Of he does not have internet at home??

      Lloyd - 2011-05-08 16:11

      Ma, is dood, sussie bly in Transvaal en vroulief is lekker getreat by McDonalds. Ou BALSAK het nie gisteraand internet access gehad nadat sy span pak gekry het nie.

      WPBEFONK - 2011-05-08 16:31

      Goed om van jou te hoor LLOYD. Stem jy saam dat ons al 4 ons oorsese games gaan wen?

      WPBEFONK - 2011-05-08 16:33

      Hoe kan jy jou vrou by MCDONALDS treat? Is dit wat jy van haar dink? Moedersdag is 'n 5 stere dag en vrouens moet 5 STER behandeling kry!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Lloyd - 2011-05-08 17:29

      Ek kry employee discount en my vrou is nie beter gewoond nie. Nee, julle gaan miskien een wen.

      WPBEFONK - 2011-05-08 17:31

      Good. Enjoy the evening with your family, I know you are a farm boy. You're actually staying on the farm, far away from city life!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Ampie - 2011-05-08 17:35

      I think Stormers might win 1 game the during the rest of the season. Their curve has started the downward trend.

      pietpompies2 - 2011-05-08 17:36

      Ek gaan vrek val! Lloyd said we'll win at least one game! wow, you not so bad after all Lloyd, happy mother's day!

      Lloyd - 2011-05-08 20:39

      Thanks Piet, but because it's a special day I was just trying to be nice. (even though I'm not)

      Marius Swart - 2011-05-08 22:17

      @WPBEFONK.Ek moet se as julle al 4 gewen kry sal ek die eerste blou bul ondersteuner wees wat jou geluk wens want dit gaan nie sommer net gebeur nie maar sterkte.Oor die wenne oor die bulle en die cheetahs gaan ons maar moet sien.Ek vermoed van die spanne wat nou lyk of hulle uit die kompetisie is gaan hier en daar verrassing lewer.Vermoed bulle of cheetahs kan stormers nog tuis semi kos die seisoen.

      Marcell - 2011-05-09 04:04

      They are going on all four for the Blues to give it to them !

      Staalbal - 2011-05-09 13:48

      @ Marcell Mens kan sien jy ken van all fours, jou ou rugridder jy.

  • Jan - 2011-05-08 19:42

    Ons kan al 4 wen, keer net terug na die dinge wat gewerk het teen Sharks en Bulls, en ons kom met sakke vol punte terug. Kom manne, die moet ons jaar wees, ek het baie vertroue in julle

      Rammsteen - 2011-05-08 21:15

      Ja Jan, die Lions kan seker ook al 4 wen - as die ander nie opdaag nie. Dis maar bra power dat doe Stormers verloor teen 'n Crusader span wat 5 van hul beste langs die veld gehad het. Jul senter paar is in elk geval "overrated". Wag en kyk maar teen die Chiefs - en dan die Blues! Dan, wanneer daai lang trip verby is, kom kuier die Bulle in aapstad.

      Ivan Smit - 2011-05-09 08:52

      Ja Rammsteen om nie eers van die blou bulle se senterpaar te praat nie, ha ha, as jy joke opsoek in die verklarende woordeboek sien jy hulle gesigte daar, huidiglik soveel flair soos n ligte somers briesie. Sover ek kan onthou het die Crusaders gate deur hulle gehardloop, net voorbeeld. Eerder overrated as not rated at all sou ek se. Hou op verskonings soek. Suur druiwe.

      Marcell - 2011-05-09 09:04

      Overrated and under performed = not rated and not perform

  • Brad Pitts - 2011-05-09 08:22

    hmmm - has a News24 cape bias been displayed in their reporting this week. First they lead with a story that Smit might be going to Saracens (surely not the biggest news of the weekend), then hide the fact that Stormers lost to the probable winners of the series in an innocuously titled - "Stormers tour without panic"????

  • Marx - 2011-05-09 08:54

    Panic will kick in.....let's say after the 3rd loss....The team that wants this Cup, will have to go and win the Crusaders in NZ, at this stage no one has the abillity(maybe the Blues), but hopefully that will change.

  • thumper - 2011-05-09 08:56

    How disappointing! Thats a game the Stormers should have won. Crusaders showed great composure to hold on despite all the injuries. Stormers made some silly errors and the ref waited about 70 mins too long to yellow card the Crusaders. However, Stormers should easily win 2 on tour with a possible 3 out of 4 being a great result. Enjoy yourselves Lloyd and Zollie? Its not going to last long.

  • Peter Britz - 2011-05-09 09:08

    Stormers still well placed, but I think their should be a measure of concern in the Stormers camp. Right now, the race for top honours is wide open again!! Stormers are on tour, and with the Sharks 4 point behind, the Stormers will have to be ontop of their game to hang on to top spot!! Yes the Stormers have a game in hand, but the Sharks have a bye in hand. Bulls and Cheetahs at home won't be certain points for the Stormers either. The Bulls have been playing better, and the Cheetahs are a revelation!! Any of the Bulls Sharks, and a distant possibility the Cheetahs can make it!! Stormers lack of bonus points will still cost them!! Log points Stormers 43, Sharks 39, Bulls 31, Cheetahs 25 (Cheetahs and Sharks still get 4 for a bye due)

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