Preview: Blues vs Stormers

May 2, 2013 in Blues, Preview, Stormers, Super Rugby

ranger vs de jongh

A win against the physical Stormers won’t come easy for the Blues and they’ll need to pull out all the stops to secure what is shaping up as a season-defining moment. Their inability to execute cost them against the Reds a week ago after they expertly ran the Queenslanders all over the park.

He’s been described as talismanic and maybe he is, but the one weakness in Keven Mealamu’s armoury is his lineout throws, an area in which the Stormers have created a lot of turn-over ball. It will be imperative that the likes of Luke Braid and the ever-impressing Steven Luatua stamp their authority at the breakdown and stand up in defense.

In an attempt to strengthen their attack, Francis Saili has been brought into to partner Jackson Willison as René Ranger shifts to the wing; this does expose their midfield as Saili slips a few tackles more than Ranger, and Chris Noakes isn’t exactly known for his defending abilities either. The visitors would need to be at their best against this dangerous backline; it hasn’t taken them long to make a name for themselves, and if they are afforded any space, Charles Piutau and Frank Halai will make them pay.

Most Likely to Score for the Blues: René Ranger

 

I find it quite ironic that Stormers captain Jean de Villiers is urging the players that are returning from injury to produce what is expected of them, when he is in fact underperforming in my opinion. But he did get one thing right, the Cape Town franchise find themselves in a good position, having dealt with the big guns already before they left on an “easier” tour where after they will play the majority of their remaining games at home.

Up front the Stormers boys have been doing a decent job, with De Kock Steenkamp being absolutely phenomenal in the lineouts. Against the Hurricanes Duane Vermeulen made a number of breaks from the back of the scrum, but the ball got killed in contact and I would like to see more interplay between the Stormers as well as better linkage with the backs, I reckon that would enable them to  score more tries. The return of Eben Etzebeth is a long awaited one and I suspect the youngster will be keen to reclaim a staring berth.

The biggest news in the backline is that Elton Jantjies is also back from injury on the heels of Bryan Habana’s noteworthy return. I would like to take this opportunity to remind the naysayers that although Jantjies has had a below par season thus far, he did play a cardinal role in their victories over the Chiefs and Brumbies. Someone needs to bring some creativity to the Stormers’ attack and for what it’s worth, I think Jantjies is a much better bet than the insipid Gary van Aswegen.

Most Likely to Score for the Stormers: Juan de Jongh

 

This is a tough one to call; the Stormers generally fare better against teams that run the ball, whereas the Blues on the other hand seem to struggle in tight games. Depending on how much the hosts learned from their encounter against the Reds, this match could very well go down to the wire, another Habana charge-down maybe…

Gagga says Blues by 2

 

by Jackie Smit

Stay informed – Like my Facebook page – Gagga 4 Rugga

Check out my other articles on The Rugby Blog

15 responses to Preview: Blues vs Stormers

  1. Rene Ranger doesn’t seem as dangerous on the wing as at #13 and the Blues may rue this decision. This will be a close game but if the Stormers kick away possession they will play into the Blues hands

  2. Jy is baie braaf om die blues tekies more kan jy dalk die blues sing want die manne van die kaap is nie meer vandag se kinders nie

  3. Phil said on May 2, 2013

    Blues by two? Sounds like a title for a blues song. Since I am a pessimist, I’d almost agree with you. My other weekend prediction is the Cheetahs will struggle to get their 4pts for the bye.

  4. Eben said on May 3, 2013

    Hoop die Stormers perform vandag anders is my superbru score in sy kanon in! Almal stem Blues vandag. Hoop hulle is verkeerd!

  5. Seems it helps when I criticize JdV, he played a massive game today, too bad it wasn’t enough!

  6. Devan said on May 3, 2013

    Wow. Your prediction was close. One point. How did you guess that one?
    I expected the Blues to win by a bigger margin. But they didn’t pitch today and still won this game. Stormers should have taken advantage of their inconsistency. Blues play well the one week and then play rubbish on another day. Today was that “another day”. Season could be over for Stormers.

  7. “I find it quite ironic that Stormers captain Jean de Villiers is urging the players that are returning from injury to produce what is expected of them, when he is in fact underperforming in my opinion.”

    LOL!! Would you like some All Gold Tomato Sauce with that.

    Please carry on criticising our Bok captain throughout the year.

Add Comment Register



Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>