Sweet and sour for Stormers

2011-04-18 08:19

Stephen Nell

Johannesburg – The Stormers will be the envy of several other teams in the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament with their seven victories from eight games, but there will definitely be mixed feelings about Saturday’s 33-19 win over the Lions.

For example: The Stormers had to defend their line manfully when the Lions were still attacking late in the game and a converted try would have seen the home side draw level.

The Stormers finally turned over possession with a dominant tackle and won the ensuing scrum to momentarily relieve pressure.

What then is the problem? Well, the Lions only had 14 men on the field at that stage thanks to their captain, centre Doppies la Grange, being sin-binned for a tip-tackle in the 68th minute.

Yes, we know by now that the Stormers can defend, but there is also a tendency for them to retreat into their shells. Even the Stormers’ most dangerous attacking weapons – Gio Aplon and Juan de Jongh – fluffed their lines.

Johann Sadie put the game out of the Lions’ reach in the 79th minute after collecting a badly executed grubber from the Lions’ Dries van Schalkwyk to go and score under the posts.

The Stormers started brightly, with a huge penalty from Gary van Aswegen giving them the lead. Danie Poolman then scored his first Super Rugby try after Schalk Burger and De Jongh were stopped just before the line.

Dewaldt Duvenage took the conversion while the medical team tended to Van Aswegen, who left the field shortly afterwards with a grade two tear of his medial ligament. He will be sidelined for two to three months.

Peter Grant had also been withdrawn from the Stormers’ starting line-up during the week and the Cape side had to play with their third choice at flyhalf following the introduction of Lionel Cronjé.

Cronjé is very talented, but will have to cut unforced errors such as kick-offs that are out on the full from his game. He is nevertheless a very good attacking flyhalf and it was his cross-kick that was collected by Aplon in the build-up to Jaque Fourie’s first-half try.

Prior to that try the Lions had fought their way back to 13-16, with Burton Francis impressing at flyhalf. He first succeeded with a drop goal and then added a penalty before breaking the line to set up a try for Warren Whiteley.

Cronjé’s kicking, however, helped keep the Stormers’ noses in front and at half-time they led 23-13.

The Lions also deserve a lot of credit for keeping the pressure on the Stormers throughout. They started the second half well and Francis’s boot twice took them within seven points of the Cape side.

At times the Stormers looked uncomfortable when the Lions carried the ball or launched high kicks.

Sadie’s try came as a relief for the South African conference leaders and came soon after De Jongh had failed to apply a finish to a great attacking opportunity.

There was a minute left to go and score the fourth try, but the Stormers ended on the back foot. That won’t bother them too much because they clearly enjoy defending. Perhaps a little too much.

Point scorers:

Stormers 33 (23) Tries: Danie Poolman, Jaque Fourie, Johann Sadie. Conversions: Dewaldt Duvenage, Lionel Cronjé (2). Penalties: Gary van Aswegen, Cronjé (3).

Lions 19 (13): Try: Warren Whiteley. Conversion: Burton Francis. Penalties: Francis (3), Drop goal: Francis.


  • lime - 2011-04-18 08:29

    they better pull up their socks!!!

      JohnnyBB - 2011-04-18 09:15

      ...Faders... ...again....

      GILLBERT - 2011-04-18 09:24

      die stormers het seke almal wiskunde gedruip want hulle kan nie afrond nie... hulle moes ten minste 5 drie'e gerdruk het

  • pagel - 2011-04-18 08:30

    Good teams win even when they are not playing their best ....

      Jerry - 2011-04-18 08:37

      Very good point !

  • RobinB - 2011-04-18 08:32

    Not a very good performance at all.. Whats worrying is our Bonus points.. We need them.. But as the old saying goes.. a win is a win.. so we'll take it

  • mummford - 2011-04-18 08:45

    Sorry Mr Nel but give the Stomers credit where it is due.The Lions are not by all means a bad side and when the Stormers attacked, they attacked very well especially from deep.I think when it comes to our NO1 S.A side in this compo you and the likes of JJ are being extremely harsh and biased.Wake up

      gooinat - 2011-04-18 09:05

      Mummford:Should Nel and JJ not FOCUS rather:)LOL

      molefeP - 2011-04-18 09:46

      Morning Mummford. I missed all this weekends games. Eksdom strikes again! Any stand out moments?

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-04-18 10:16

      Morning all. @Molefe - Eskom must be hauled to the frikkin highest courts in the land.....what a disaster. @Mummford - the Sharks win over the Lions in Durban was heralded a good win by all and sundry......yet we are still being told we are undeserving......It was by no means a great performance by us - but we won, without ever losing the lead. A win away from home - end of. As I said last night, if anyone had told me would be top of the SA pile halfway through, I would have taken it with GLEE. These journos can write what they want, the log is as it is. And we got the win - missing key players and with disruptions.

      Mike@CapeT - 2011-04-18 10:26

      Let's not forget that the Lion's always raise their game when they play Stormers/WP! Good luck to them but it is a pity that they cannot play consistantly well. It is also a pity that the Stormers have a tendency to lower their standards when they play the bottom of the table teams.

  • Maddi - 2011-04-18 08:55

    We are going to regret the lack of bonus points and the PD of the Crusaders far exceed ours.

  • Mojojo - 2011-04-18 09:00

    De Jongh is a very good player, but he is not yet matured enough to recognise when to back himself, and when to play a team game. We would have had 2 more tries if De Jongh was a little more selfish and backes himself to finish off, but instead he passed the ball. In time, he will get this maturity, and slot into the gap left by JdV who is getting on a little bit.

      Mike@CapeT - 2011-04-18 10:28

      I agree with you. The more I see him, the more he reminds me of Mannetjes Roux.

      CliffBradley - 2011-04-18 11:07

      Mojojo: Agreed , but last year the Stormer detractors were saying he is to selfish - Maybe he should not listen to the rubbish always breaking down the stormers !!!

      Brevan - 2011-04-18 11:26

      Jean de Viliers turned 30 just over a month ago. Not quite getting on. We shouldn't be too quick to write off our experienced players. When you notice that he can't keep with the pace of the game, that's when we need to worry. As for de Jongh, I was one of the guys that was saying that he is too selfish and now I wish he would try to break the line more often. He just needs to work on getting that balance right. Having said that, if the field was dry, he probably would not have slipped and probably scored under the poles with that one opportunity and everyone would've been raving about the brilliant side step he has.

      Mojojo - 2011-04-18 11:51

      Hi Brevan. I did not mean that JdV is too old now, but De Jongh is 7 years younger, and in a few years time JdV will not be able to follow the pace of the game, this young man will be a great replacement. But I think we all agree that the talent is there, but the balance is yet to come, and that I feel will come as he matures and believes in his game.

      CliffBradley - 2011-04-18 14:30

      Brevan - I like it when a guy is not to tough to admit he made a mistake - Good on you !!!

      Brevan - 2011-04-18 14:33

      I still maintain that de Jongh is an outside centre and only a temporary solution at inside centre. His acceleration off the mark is good and is able to deceive with his side step. His natural tendancy is to hold onto the ball which is not what you want from your inside centre. 10 and 12 should be creating space for the outside backs. I think after last season's criticism he is trying to pas more and is not really trying to run with the ball enough and so he is not as effective. He can work on that, but when he is so good at outside centre, why change that? I think Paul Bosch is our best option for the future at inside centre. He is strong a good tackler, stright runner when he does try to breakt he line and not the worst distributor of the ball. Also Tim Whitehead is in the wings as well.

      CliffBradley - 2011-04-18 16:25

      Brevan : Anyone have any thoughts on that young GREEK fellow from Ikey's , seems to keep his cool well under pressure .

      Brevan - 2011-04-18 18:06

      @ CliffBradley: I didnt think he was too bad. His name is Demetri Catrakilis. Not an outstanding player, but solid enough, and got the back line away enough. I thought last year's flyhalf Matthew Roslee was a good prospect. I would've preffered if we retained his services.

  • John - 2011-04-18 09:05

    Winning is key but missing so many opportunities is unacceptable and Coetzee needs to address this "white line fever" S.H.I.T. soon. It is not a crisis yet as everyone makes it out to be. We are not even past the halfway mark but it is starting to be a problem. The best backline in the country ... the least tries scored??????

  • RJ - 2011-04-18 09:08

    Storm saam

  • fandash1 - 2011-04-18 09:56

    Look at the scoreboard. No remarks column on any scoreboard I have seen.

  • Met Uysh! - 2011-04-18 09:59

    What a load of crap, really Stephen Nell, you are seeing things that aren't there. I mean, the Stormers beat the Lions with their "Third" choice flyhalf on the field, their second choice centre and the third choice wing and still beat the Lions convincingly. Just look at how easily de Jongh could have scored and fluffed it as well as Aplon if he just dotted down and you look at a whalloping. And you focus on a period where the Lions, Yes, had 14 men on the field but kept it with the forwards? Really, give credit where it is due!

  • Andrew - 2011-04-18 11:17

    Thought this quote from The fast and the Furious is appropriate. " It doesn't matter if you win by an inch or a mile, winnings winning."

  • Sprover - 2011-04-18 11:45

    I must say when Sadie crossed the line I felt a huge relief. The Stormers fluffed many chances, but the Lions were on the brink of drawing level with only a few minutes to go.

  • thumper - 2011-04-18 11:58

    No excuses for the missed chances. Those players should be paying for their mistakes this week. Having said that, it's never easy to beat the Lions in Jhb and the conditions were atrocious even though it didn't look like it on TV. That could account for some of the poor handling. all you Stormers haters should bear in mind that this was also not the Stormers best run on team and sometimes good teams standards drop when they play teams at the bottom of the log. Stormers are still on top of the SA conference and thats good enough for me at this stage of the competition.

  • Dries Badenhorst - 2011-04-18 12:01

    I could not agree more. I'm thankful for the great defense - but this team looks very uncomfortable at the moment. Jean is missed in the midfield, though. Out of all their games they sparked once, against the Force. The rest was just guts and grid that helped them stumble over the line. Although their log position is great, they don't leave you with a conviction that they can go all the way, this year. Last year, this time I felt much more positive of their chances to go all the way. Sadie and Cronje did impress me.

  • katman - 2011-04-18 12:14

    Ja Nell, you were watching the game with those blue and white tinted specs that come free with Die Burger on match day. You write: “For example: The Stormers had to defend their line manfully when the Lions were still attacking late in the game and a converted try would have seen the home side draw level. The Stormers finally turned over possession with a dominant tackle and won the ensuing scrum to momentarily relieve pressure.” Dominant tackle? Won the scrum? Anyone who watched the game knows that Jonker stood by and watched from a couple of metres and an unobstructed view as Brok Harris and another Stormers fatty fell over the ball and sealed it off two metres from their own line when the Lions looked set to score under the posts at 26-19 in the 76th minute, and then awarded the scrum to the Cape side for reasons only he would know and justify. Go and watch it again, sober – just those few minutes – and tell me I’m lying. Jonker gave the game to the Stormers with that diabolical piece of refereeing.

      CliffBradley - 2011-04-18 14:34

      katman - Julle tipe smaak on strond te praat - Gaan liewers Hartebeespoort Dam toe !!!

      Brevan - 2011-04-18 15:42

      I agree that Jonker was crap, I'm so glad you pointed it out. Seeing as you're pointing out his faults while they were camping on the Stormers line, I don't see why you don't point out the kock on by the Lions scrummie a few phases earlier or the fact that the Lions were going off thier feet at most of the preceding rucks. Both teams got away with thier fair bit. The Stormers handled the ref better on the day!

  • crocowild - 2011-04-18 13:02

    I don t think the Lions have to look any further for a flyhalf.Burton Francis should be allowed to settle.He has got a good head on his shoulders and and is a true flyhalf.Warren Whitely impressed me a lot.Stormers forwards looked about 80% okay.De Jongh still needs time to settle at inside centre.Sadie looked okay for the short time on the field.Jantjies is a limited player nowadays.Poolman has not impressed me yet.Tythan Adams definitely should be considered.He is a real livewire.Tim Whitehead is to me still potentially the best inside centre in the Cape.Buy Sarel Pretorius for next season if you are serious about winning any silverware.If your halfback and your centre pairing works as a combination,you usually get the kind of results that you see the Crusaders get and your wings will score much more tries.Last,as i told you so many times before ,get David Campese to come and help you and you will in no time have one of the most potent backlines in the world.This backline needs inspiration and imagination that is sadly lacking at the moment.And yes,for a team that is actually struggling,especially at the back,you can give yourselves a pat on the back.Sorry about van Aswegen.Lionel needs a lot more time on the park.Make sure he gets it ,because you might pay later for it.

      Brevan - 2011-04-18 14:57

      Having seen a few pics and clips of the Stormers training session, I think Alister is playing around with gveing Jean a run at Flyhalf later in the season. Jean has been spotted working on his kicking as well. Further I think that Paul Bosch is the person that the Stormers management feels is the next best option after Jean at inside centre. I like them both and they give you slightly different options. As for Cronje' he has been the source of a significant amount of the opositions points in the vodacom cup. He chooses poor options and threw more than one intercention pass. He was the same at the end of last season and when he got his chance in the pre-season. I am not comfortable with him as back up. I would rather give Elgar Watts (Boland Flyhalf) a run in the stormers side or see what Kurt Coleman (vodacom cup flyhalf) has to offer. I wouldn't buy Sarel because we don't want to encourage Groom and Schreuder to leave the province. They are both very talented scrummies. We need to get rid of January though. I don't see what the management team sees in him. He sucks. Don't say that groom and Schreuder are too young. I am of the belief that if you're good enough, you're old enough. I say, give them the opportunity.

      CliffBradley - 2011-04-19 08:28

      Brevan: With the exception of Saffa & a few others finally someone who talks sense ,Groom is great , all players were young once , if they dont get a gap , how will we know ? Demetri Catrakilis: Sorry I knew his name , but was worried about getting crisified , just bear in mind , he was playing behind a losing pack last monday & did well . Cheers

      Brevan - 2011-04-19 09:21

      I've been around for a while. I just steer away from all the name calling and personal bashing. I prefer to reply to the constructive comments and on the odd occasion I feel I need to add my bit when someone comes accross as toally dillusional. I don't think Demetri is in the coaching staff's plans, otherwise he would've been in the Vodacom cup setup. I think they use Michael van der Spuy as the backup flyhalf (and centre and fullback). I only saw him play twice and he looked impressive as well. I fear he will be another player who won't move on to higher honours because they don't know where to play him so he ends up playing in a different position every week.

  • ZOLLAZAP - 2011-04-18 13:38

    Ref se skuld ,Stormers moes nie gewen het nie ,ref was weer omgekoop ,

      CliffBradley - 2011-04-18 14:33

      Damian: See what I mean about idiots !!!

  • ZOLLAZAP - 2011-04-18 13:43

    Stormers cheats,chokers,papsak suiger en 11 jaar sonder cups

      JohnnyBB - 2011-04-18 16:23

      ...Agree ZOLLAZAP...!!!!

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