With Super rugby just around the corner where 15 teams will entertain us with some much needed exciting, fast-paced ruggas, I thought I’d give you my 15 things I’d like to see happen this season:
Stormers win a home semi-final for peet sake!!
I could be wrong but I can only recall the Stormers hosting 4 semi-final games at Newlands in their Super rugby history and we’ve only won 1 of those (against the Waratahs). Maybe this year we should play an away semi preferably against an Ozzie side because it’s obvious we struggle against SA & NZ sides come knockout time. But seriously, our previous failures are starting to smell and the only way to get rid of that stench is to win.
Either Lambie or Goosen play themselves into the Bok starting 15
I’ve been going back & forth as to who I’d like to see kick Steyn off his pedestal (excuse the pun) & I’ve come to a decision that it really doesn’t matter however I do have my concerns. I’m glad Jake White came out & said that Lambie will be used as a 10 & a 10 alone but that statement can be severely tested if the Sharks lose a couple of key backline players during the course of the season.
My concern with Goosen is whether he can get back that form that made him a Bok in the first place. He is a talent & potential future of Bok rugby but should the young pivot pick up another long term injury (touch wood) who knows how that could affect his confidence & mentality. Both players will also have to average an 80% plus goal kicking conversion in order for HM to give them serious consideration for Bok.10
Beat the Ozzie teams!!
Cheetahs show last year was no fluke
The Cinderella team of last season stole the hearts of fans domestic & abroad with their entertaining style of play complimented with solid defence that was absent in so many of their previous campaigns. Last season has showed them that they can mess around with the big boys of Super rugby and even though I’m not expecting semi-finals, I’d hate to see them not build on what they did last year.
Sharks just win it already, damn..
As a Stormers fan this is said with a bit of tongue in the cheek considering how the Sharks have reached the finals so many times only to fall at the last hurdle albeit most of those games were played away from home. Every year we read about how they’re the strongest SA team & about their Super rugby pedigree, so just win it already Sharks. Besides how cool will it be if the Stormers can give Jean de Villiers a title next year (pending he retires after the RWC ofcourse).
Bring in Fanie & Jeremy
Or better yet, bring in the whole Afrikaans cricket commentating crew just to show our rugby commentators how it’s really done. Fanie, Kotie & Co. are not afraid of telling it like they see it, something we fans really appreciate. With their commentary, they carry teams & players on their shoulders when they do something good but are not afraid of lambasting them when they play poorly or do something silly. Sure Fanie did get into some hot water recently regarding a woman ‘from Portugal’ but we did miss that humour he brings to the party when he was absent from the commentary team. I’m not saying our rugga boys are dyer & boring but the fact that we know what’s coming, makes the rugby viewing pretty ordinary at times.
Fair Consistent refereeing & citing
Now I know this wishful thinking but really, is it too much to ask???
Pieter-steph du Toit convinces HM that Matfield isn’t needed
This is self-explanatory really. I believe that an Etzebeth / Du Toit combination can be great one if given a chance but before that is to happen the latter will need to have a great super rugby season.
Nazeem Carr passes the ball more than once in 1 game
I can’t remember when during last season I started noticing it but I do recall puffing out a huge sigh of ‘he’s not gonna pass’ or a loud scream of ‘pass die bol jou donner’ whenever Carr got the ball. Now maybe I’m being over-critical coz maybe he just did his part of drawing in defenders to setup the next phase. But what really bakes my noodle is that his coaches believe he’s got the pace, hands & skills to be an ideal link between the forwards & backs… Pity I’ve never seen it.
Hougie plays the whole season at 9 & actually excels in the position
You know what’s scary, this very talented, tattooed ‘bad boy’ has been around for what, 5,6,7 seasons already and has yet to deliver a campaign where we can say that he was hands down the best SA scrummy or better yet, best 9 in the competition. Sure he can make a solid case for why that hasn’t happened yet like: playing behind FdP, playing with other people’s girlfriends, playing wing, injuries etc. I don’t care what Ruan Pienaar does in Europe, I still believe Hougie can offer the Boks much more than Gysie se klong so let’s just hope the arrival of Piet van Zyl motivates Hougaard to start producing good games at 9.
As a born & raised Knysna boytjie, I can’t help but to feel pride when I see fellow Knysnaars like Devon Raubenheimer & Kurt Coleman playing an important role for their team or produce a crucial play that turns the game in their respective teams’ favour. Keep on keep keeping on boys!! Knysna is watching & cheering.
The Lions uhm.. Ag just forget it.. Moving on
Stormers get their ‘big wing’ they so desperately crave in Damian de Allende
Even though de Allende has last year excelled at inside centre, there’s no denying that he’s one of the Stormers’ biggest backline players and therefore his name should be thrown in the hat for the vacant nr.11 left by Habana & Shadow. Chats around the watercooler say that Coetzee could opt for playing Jean at wing and to that I say: Nip that cigarette immediately!! Jean playing at wing should be our very, very last resort. Plus there’s also Pat Howard as well as Juan de Jongh that could be tried in that position.
Naka & Heyneke has a serious chat regarding Coenie
Now I’m just a rugby fan & have never coached a rugby game in my life but I know that it can’t be good for a player when your franchise coach plays you in 1 position and your national coach in another. Coenie has the potential to be a Bok great but his coaches will have to decide if he’s a loose- or tight head. Meyer can’t tell me he doesn’t have options for the latter when Frans Malherbe showed he can hold his own on international level and I’m sure that should Lourens Adriaanse be given a shot, he’ll do the same. Beast, like everyone else in the Bok15 needs someone to keep him on his toes and I can’t see anyone better than Coenie doing that. Come Super rugby time, you’ll see what I mean.
Vic doesn’t do a Jordan
Victor’s comeback reminds me of another legend in his respective sport code that came out of retirement at a ‘seasoned’ age: Michael Jordan who ofcoz retired from the game of basketball no less than 3 times. After being retired for 2 or 3 seasons & at the veteran age of 38, he made his final comeback with the Washington Wizards, a struggling team he had some ownership shares with and what were the results? Well it wasn’t pretty. Sure he had some good games, 1 or 2 game winners even but he was nowhere close to the athlete the world knew him to be 3 or 4 years prior to his retirements. And what’s even worse is that his team failed to make playoffs in both of the 2 seasons he played for them. Now I dislike the Bulls as much as any other Stormers fan out there but I do respect the legacy & all time greatness that Victor Matfield has produced for the Bulls but more importantly the Springboks over his illustrious career and I would hate to see him dent legacy. Especially when he’s got absolutely nothing to prove to anyone.