Stormers win ugly, sit pretty

2012-03-04 12:12

Cape Town – Seasoned Springbok centre and acting Stormers captain Jean de Villiers doesn’t miss too many tricks, and can be just as proficient in the wisecrack department.

“We’ve got 12 points after only playing two matches,” he gleefully noted at the press conference following Saturday night’s typically unsubtle, all-penalties and frankly often painful Super Rugby derby victory for his franchise over the Sharks at Newlands.

De Villiers was referring, of course, to the fact that the Stormers have a week-three bye next weekend in the competition, which means four additional points will be handed to them on a plate to add to the eight they have gathered already for eking out successive wins over the Hurricanes and then their big coastal rivals.

It all adds up to a smooth enough start to 2012 hostilities - certainly in log terms - by last season’s best-performing South African outfit, despite mostly still lacking sparkle and mixing now-traditional efficiency and defensive discipline with fits of imprecision and over-eagerness.

This is roughly how they began last season as well, so coach Allister Coetzee and company probably regard that as a pretty good sign, considering how that campaign gradually built an impressive head of steam.

“Whether you regard it as a case of getting out of jail or not, it’s a fantastic win for us,” enthused Coetzee, clearly a defiant believer in outcome eclipsing execution for importance in the ever-more-gruelling arena of Super Rugby.

“We’ve always known the Sharks are quality, and they certainly pitched tonight. They threw the kitchen sink.

“We were taken to a dark place at times, but responded, and that’s the (important thing).

“Two or three years ago this was the type of match where I reckon we would have ended up losing.”

His charges instead ground out a 15-12 victory from a halftime deficit against the depleted but fired-up and sometimes unusually expansive Sharks, substitute flyhalf Peter Grant’s tricky late penalty from the left touchline ultimately separating the sides.

“I just said to him ‘Bashy, good luck matey’ as he prepared to take the kick,” De Villiers revealed. “And that’s experience for you (the way he landed it).”

Following another scrappy match - the Hurricanes game had also been high on endeavour but low on composure and quality - it is tempting to believe there may be some mixed feelings in the Stormers camp about having a break next weekend before they contemplate the visit from New Zealand of the highly-touted but currently struggling Blues.

After all, there is a case for saying they lose an opportunity to iron out certain flaws in a match situation, and to possibly build further momentum results-wise.

But Coetzee welcomes it.

“The bye helps, I believe. We had a big pre-season, both in terms of conditioning and (friendly match itinerary) and there are already some niggles to deal with, so a break is OK.”

Both captain and coach were quick to laud the performances of several rookies in their ranks, especially as they began to turn some forward screws fairly impressively in the final quarter after playing second fiddle in possession and territorial terms in the first half.

They pointed out that the Stormers closed out the match with several players in their pack who are not long out of their teens, including Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth and Siya Kolisi.

All shone at various times during the game, with the prop combination of Kitshoff and substitute tighthead Malherbe producing some vital, big scrummaging heaves late on, Etzebeth confirming his relish for some “gun-smoke” in the tight-loose and Kolisi putting in strong tackles and fine general industry about the park.

De Villiers said it was a pleasure seeing so many young players come to the fore in a tight encounter, regardless of the error count in his team’s play, and also for retaining their composure after a first period in which they came under the cosh.

“The message at halftime was that we were only three points behind after they’d (the Sharks) created most of the play; so we could certainly (find a way back).”

After the Blues game in a fortnight, the Stormers face the Lions in Johannesburg and the presently buoyant Bulls back home before departing on their overseas tour.

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing


  • Christo - 2012-03-04 12:28

    Een verskil van laasjaar - Rassie is nie meer daar nie. Ek is bekommerd oor onse manne en oor die "bydrae" wat Nic Koster maak. Dit begin meer en meer vir my lyk asof hy op sy skooldae-dade speel. Duane moet terug 8e man toe en dan maar vir Kitshoff terugbring. Sela!

      Brevan - 2012-03-04 12:55

      Agreed, Koster isn't doing anything. Also van Aswegen needs to be dropped, his decision making is poor.

      steyts - 2012-03-04 13:11

      Dit wys hoe baie ons vir Flo mis!!! Iemand wat die opposisie bal kan steel en stadig maak... Vermeulen is 'n agtsteman, nie 'n flank nie!! Speel vir Burger en Kolisi op flanke sodra Burger terug kom en haal vir Koster uit die span uit!!! Of sit hom op vleuel in Habana se plek!!!

      Liam - 2012-03-04 14:33

      are you people high or illiterate?? Koster was man of the match for a reason...he is better than Duane at 8!! Vermeulen has the creativity of a teaspoon on attack...stop being so obsessed with size

      Saffa - 2012-03-04 20:51

      @Liam Agree. Duane is plain fat

      Jason - 2012-03-05 08:21

      Why was Koster man of the match??? I think you guys have predetermined ideas about him. Give him some room to grow. And fake Saffa, what do you get out of stealing someones profile and commenting under their name. Must be a lonely little man. I told some friends, who read these comments but the dont comment themselves, about you and they all laughed and thought you are pretty sad!

      Papa-storm - 2012-03-05 14:19

      Duane maybe fat (according to saffa)but he is one hell of a player last week he kept 4 hurricanes players (that is 8 bull players ) at bay when van aswegen messed up so leave duane he is doing his job kick van aswegen out put burton in his place and kick ass

  • Anneck - 2012-03-04 13:21

    Do Saru have the brains to consider this for South African rugby in general? You may or may not agree, but this is just my opinion and my solution for fixing it: The Currie Cup is not the Currie Cup it used to be twenty years ago. Solution: scrap the unions, have the Sharks, Kings, Stormers, Cheetahs, Lions and Bulls compete for the Currie cup. Team that comes last misses out on Super Rugby the following year. During the Super Rugby competition, have all the unions compete for the Vodacom Cup, giving all those players not involved in Super Rugby something to do? Otherwise the Cheetahs and Lions must cast aside their childish differences and reform as the Cats, leaving a spot open for the Kings. As we have just seen against the Bulls, the Cheetahs on their own are toothless anyway.

      Jack - 2012-03-04 21:07

      Why not amalgamate the Bulls & Cheetahs - same mentality, language and taste in music??? They can rename the team: The Boere Bashers. Then make the emblem a boerewors roll set in front of a can of castle...they could even ask Mrs. Ball's to be their new sponsor. Loftus can go from being the bullring to being The Spit Braai & Vodacom Park can become The Potjie!!!

      Saffa - 2012-03-04 22:13

      @jackblack Your intellect is rivaled by garden tools only

      S - 2012-03-05 10:39

      @Fake Saffa: The garden tool being yourself?

  • richard.joffe - 2012-03-04 13:40

    Why would you drop Nick Koster lol he was man of the match last night did you guys even watch the game?

      Christo - 2012-03-04 18:18

      Yeah watched the game did you? For what reason was Koster named man of the match. A few pick ups and not gettning anywhere with the ball. Come on Richard.

      Jason - 2012-03-05 08:25

      He made some telling takles, made more ball carrying runs than any other loosey! Covered more meters than the other guys. He was a work horse! Simple!

  • martin.gee.godfrey - 2012-03-04 14:13

    I still fail to understand the rationale in giving points for a bye. Surely if every team has a by ethen there is no need to give points. It gives a false impression on the league tables.This whole conference system of the "new and improved" Super 15 is a farce and was put into place to simply accomodate Australais Western Force and extend the whole S15 format and make money for SANZAR in some form or other. As for the Sharks, they were their own worst enemy yesterday, knocking on at crucial times and infringing at the rucks and mauls. Daniels cost the Sharks the draw with his ill discipline in his own 25 at the end of the game and Skeate was just over the top throughout the game. However, having said that, I would rather the Sharks lose a game or two now, than when it counts near the business end of the tournament mid July.

      Japjapjap - 2012-03-05 09:31

      @Ferre- it is to help the stormers...only points they going to get the next few months??

  • Melt - 2012-03-04 15:27

    @Herman, Manne ek dink daardie Stormers se pak voorspelers is glad nie so sleg as ons dink nie. Miskien gaan ons bietjie sukkel met die vaste drie maar die res is goed. My voorstel sal wees om die slotte en losvoorspelers as volg saam te stel. Slotte Bekker en Etzebeth, flanke SB en Elstad (Khosi) terwyl SB beseer is. Vermeulen op 8. Ruil Elstad met Khosi en Vermeulen met Koster na 60 min. Elstad het jare flank gespeel. Na 60 min kan Elstad by Bekker of Etzebeth oorneem. Die probleem le in die agterlyn.....daar is geen slaankrag nie. My voorstel is dat Bash moet binnesenter speel met De Jong op buite senter J v R op die bank.

      Stephan - 2012-03-04 15:50

      Bash op senter sal goed werk. As ek dit nie mis nie het hy al daar gespeel.

      Saffa - 2012-03-04 17:46

      Ag Melt, is jy verveeld? Die Stormers pak gaan vermorsel word wanneer hulle enige top 8 span speel en die ref regverdig blaas

      Bootman - 2012-03-04 22:19

      Pieter wie is die top 8 spanne?

      Saffa - 2012-03-04 23:06


  • Bootman - 2012-03-04 17:39

    The Stormers have three serious problems. 9, 10 and 12. Sort this out and we will be unstopable. Like I said last week, AC is too scared to make tough choices. Drop Jean. He is but a shadow of his former self. Threw another pass that was intercepted. Van Aswegen is not cut out for Super Rugby. Looks amateur at best. No more chances for him. Duvenage is so off form and slow that Even Ricky Januarie will be a better option. We have two good young scrummies in Groom and Shreuder. Give the guys a decent go. We have two of the fastest wings in the country but they never see the ball with some decent space to work with. Come on AC. Grow a damn backbone. Robbie Fleck also needs to step up to the plate. You're the backline coach. Coach them FFS.

      Bootman - 2012-03-04 18:20

      Pieter so you're happy with Bryan Habana then..........

      Saffa - 2012-03-04 18:58

      @Bootman Only because he's a Bull

      Jason - 2012-03-05 08:32

      Last season JDV was lauded for his ability to off load and put his outside partner into space, this season, so far, he has, more often than not, taken the ball into contact. I cant help wondering if this is coaching instructions. I watched the replay a couple of times and he gets over the advantage line more often that not. Its only game 2, give the guy a break...............we will need his composure and leadership come the business end of the tournament!

      Saffa - 2012-03-06 01:10

      @Jason Jean is old fat and slow. 5 yrs past his best. And no, he's not even a top 100 center anymore

  • Keith - 2012-03-04 17:41

    Check die scoreboard guys. Stormers het gewen en die boys moet so aan hou. Los die span soos dit nou is.Gary gaan nog vir ons baie games wen. Aan Toetie en die coaching team dink aan ons toekoms moet nie ons jong talent laat poach deur die ander unions nie. Kry julle dit reg dan wag daar weer vyf goue jare op WeePee rugby.

      Saffa - 2012-03-04 17:47

      @Keith Dankie Mr Ref

  • Saffa - 2012-03-04 17:44

    STORMERS = JOKERS OF WORLD RUGBY Thanks Mr Ref 2 weeks in a row

      Warrick - 2012-03-05 10:28

      you are a moron

  • Niell - 2012-03-04 19:54

    Just a thouht. Keep Jean at Captain. Even the boks made an amazing victory over the blacks when he was the captain. Definately better decisions on field than Schalk.

      Saffa - 2012-03-04 20:55

      @Niell And why would you chose the slowest centre in world rugby as your captain. Just getting used to the feeling of being 12 years cupless ?

      Bootman - 2012-03-04 22:14

      Niell what a great rugby brain you have.

  • Gerhardus - 2012-03-04 21:14

    smaak my die sharks maak plek vir die kings....

      Saffa - 2012-03-04 22:14

      @Gerhardus Dit gaan die Stomers wees, mark my words

      Bootman - 2012-03-04 22:20

      Pieter vertel ons bietjie van die Bulls se bekers.

      Saffa - 2012-03-04 22:59

      @Bootman 2007,2009, 2010, 2012

      karsten.kaminski - 2012-03-04 23:46

      Gerhardus my friend.. a place in super rugby is earned and not handed to you. Maybe you guys should concentrate on qualifying for the premier league first neh?

  • Francois - 2012-03-05 07:57

    4 strafskoppe gemis na die pale; moeilik gemaak vir hulself, maar n wen is n wen!

      Saffa - 2012-03-06 01:11

      @Francois Dankie Mr Ref

  • Francois - 2012-03-11 07:59

    Verduidelik asseblief vir my hoe werk dit dat die Stormers 12 punte het na 2 games? Kry almal 4 punte vir 'n by? Hoekom? Dit mos stupid!

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