Is this finally our year!!??
February 20, 2013 in Uncategorized
And we are again, another Super rugby season about to start & as an avid (southern hemisphere) rugby fan, I can’t wait. Yes, I know the competition actually started last weekend with 4 Ozzie teams but honestly, Who cared?? If the number of fans in the stands were anything to go by, I’d say very few. So with the real thing about to start, I decided to take a look at my team, the Stormers & what they need to do actually win the damn thing this year.
The Game Plan
A lot has been said last season about the Stormers’ inability to score tries but for the life of me I couldn’t understand why. Yes it was peculiar that a team with backline talents like Habana, Aplon, De Jongh etc couldn’t manage to get over the try line 4 times or more in a single game but how can you overlook the fact that same team finish 1st on the overall log while also conceding the least amount of tries in doing so. Surely they did something right! I hope that doesn’t change this season even with exciting editions like Jantjies & Taute to our squad. Defence has been the backbone of Stormers’ game plan the last couple of seasons & with the players mentioned above playing in probably the 2 most crucial positions in the backline, it’s imperative that they (& the other newbies) buy into our team’s game plan. Also, I doubt their own games will suffer for it. In fact with both players pushing for higher honors, I’m sure that solid defence & tactical nous will go a long way to make sure Meyer doesn’t forget about them.
But hey, who knows, maybe this could the season where everything clicks for the team of the Cape: Where water tight defence & innovative attacks mesh to produce a team that can finally get over the hump.
Coetzee mentioned earlier in the week that he has never been involved with a Stomers team with the amount of depth he’s enjoying with the current squad and with a brutal competition like Super rugby, it’s always good to have a couple of backups in your bag baby. The problem now would be knowing when to give your regular starters a breather & rotating them with capable replacements for example: A guy like Andries Bekker is very injury prone but when on form he can easily be regarded as the best 5 in the world. The only problem is he’ll only gain that form if he’s on the pitch long enough. Having said that, he must get amble rest during this gruelling competition. A different example could be how is going to rotate the backline with so many quality players.
The Stormers can consider themselves a bit unlucky since this new conference system has been put in place. I know it’s strange to say that considering that they’ve been very successful in this fairly new system but the injury bug just can’t seem to stay away from the Cape. Last season, our loose forwards were dropping like flies & the season before that, it was our flyhalves. But because of that we developed that depth the Stormers coach is so chuffed about. Now we can (& must) use it to keep players fresh & hopefully injury free.
For 3 consecutive seasons now, the Stormers has qualified for a home semi-final but made the finals only once (back in 2010) & that is totally unacceptable considering the quality that team possess. Yes the Saders does have a ‘few’ supporters in the Cape if that can even be considered an excuse & the Sharks were on a bit of a hot streak when they came into the mother city last season but I’m an ardent believer that you do not lose at home Especially if you’re one of the top tier teams in a competition. The Stormers really need to start make Newlands a fortress again like the Bulls did in the late 2000’s & the only way to do that will be win at home… all the time.
I think every fan is confident at the start of the season that this will be our year… well, unless you’re a fan of the Rebels or Kings. And then also having to consider the other teams involved (the Crusaders, Reds, Brumbies, Chiefs, Sharks, Bulls, Highlanders & even Waratahs) you kinda get an idea how tough it is to actually win the whole thing. And I read the other day that Tony Johnson (host of that NZ rugby show & rugby columnist) favours the Highlanders or Chiefs to win the NZ conference. Yip, the Saders didn’t even get a mention but we all know they’re gonna be there come playoff time.
But the Stormers now know what winning feels like after capturing the Currie Cup after more than a decade’s cup drought & that will certainly boost their confidence considering they were underdogs in that final. Even though Super rugby is a different kettle of fish ey Lions & Cheetahs, you’re just gonna have to forgive me for believing this is our year.. again.