Well it seems to be getting closer to that time of year… Super Rugby! Preliminary Team sheets are out and today I want to talk of the Stormers, mainly because their management seems intent on destroying the hard work done over the years. They have bleeded centres… and not just because of the position but because of the quality, Fourie, Sadie and Whitehead. This can only point to a sad and sorry state of affairs at the Union. My guess is political… it usually is where Province are concerned and the reason being is that under Titus, Wakefield and those other morons you probably have the biggest bunch of idiots, and they believe that they are all-powerful. I have had a look at the team sheet and would like to talk about the players and then what the match-day 22 would probably look like
Let’s start with the obvious, the possible (and highly probable) match-day 22 out of the current group:
Deon Carstens – they would be stupid not to pick him as a starter but then again how much value can he truly be? I fear we might have recruited a “sell-by” date.
Tiaan Liebenberg – one of my favourite rugby players. This guy always gives 2million percent in every match. He is hot-headed and robust and most importantly, an accurate thrower.
Brock Harris – I truly think he has outlived his usefulness. He is average at best but something must be said about this guys fitness levels and conditioning. If only he were stronger.
Rynhardt Elstadt – This kid might have it all. He is strong and in your face and not scared to get stuck in and do the donkey work. My only concern is height but other than that he is a-ok!
Andries Bekker – if he can keep his injuries in check he has the potential to become a world great and in my opinion, better than Matfield. He is tall, strong, physical and quick.
Rohan Kitshoff - and here is my first and very big problem with the Stormers set-up. No fetcher. Rohan is good but not great and small… nowhere near effective enough. The other problem is that besides him we have no-one else except Schalk, and to a degree Duane, who can do the fetching role. Nick Fenton-Wells is too small and will get bullied by bigger opponents and neither Koster nor Kolisi are fetchers! In this position the Stormers are quite literally screwed. If I was in charge I’d make Deon Fourie my fetcher. He has all the attributes.
Schalk Burger – what more can be said about this guys pedigree? Nothing… every year he comes out guns blazing and is truly a Springbok great.
Duane Vermuelen – if it wasn’t for that injury I’m sure he would have probably, only very slightly, have made the WC squad. This guy is a monster. He is a strong ball carrier, excellent defender and reads the game well. He does tend to be a bit selfish at times.
Dewaldt Duvenage – he has proved he is a very capable scrumhalf. But the still seems to be a little something missing. Can learn to read the game a bit better and probably try snipe more.
Demetri Catrakilis – now there is a reason I’m not putting Grant’s name down. He isn’t here to start with because he will still be in Japan. Gary van Aswegan looks like an awesome player but in my opinion too injury prone. Burton looks good but doesn’t convince me yet and I know nothing about Tim Swiel besides what I have seen on YouTube. In Catrakilis you might not have a flashy Jantjies or game-breaking Lambie, but you do have consistency.
Bryan Habana – I can hear the moans and I do agree that he has lost his form and confidence but I believe he can come out of it. He must just believe in his pace again and learn to through caution to the wind! That and because my first choice, JJ Englebrecht, is now a cow-herder.
Jean de Villiers – there is no denying this man’s quality but I feel he is reaching the end of his tether and in de Jongh and Sadie there was a future. Sadie has left and de Villiers has stayed. Hopefully he can still produce.
Juan de Jongh – this kid has amazing talent. He has a great step and is explosive off the mark. He needs to work on his distribution a hell of a lot more. His size is also a bit of a worry but he has shown on a number of occasions that he is more than strong enough.
Gio Aplon – a man who has proven over and over again that size doesn’t matter. He should have played in Bryan’s place at the world cup. A match winner if ever there was one. Excellent speed and agility and can hold his own in the tackles and also, considering his size, very good under the high ball.
Joe Pietersen – the prodigal son returns. He has great pace, excellent defence, can come into an attacking line at pace and is an excellent goal kicker. He only needs to work on his high ball skills a bit more.
Wicus Blaauw – we all know he has strength but seems to be lacking in fitness. Hopefully that improves.
Deon Fourie – I would rather turn him into a flank but he is valuable anywhere. He needs to work on his line-outs though. It is very big problem with him.
De Kock Steenkamp – he hasn’t impressed me and will be pushed by the likes of Roux and Etzebeth who in my opinion show a lot more talent.
Nick Koster – I think Koster will get the nod ahead of Kolisi only because he has more experience at this level. But I believe the two are on equal footing when it comes to talent.
Nic Groom – I believe Groom offers a vital factor that Schreuder misses… being a little bugger. He is the naughty guy who’s always in your face. He is like a little terrier, an important trait for any scrummy.
Gary van Aswegen – I hope he stays injury free but I have my serious doubts. Good talent none-the-less.
Danie Poolman – I believe this kid can become a regular and just needs to start expressing himself like I know he can. Won’t become a great but has the potential to become very, very good.
The rest of the group:
Steven Kitshoff – Loads of talent. He has a bright future ahead of him.
Frans Malherbe – another kid with huge potential. He can go all the way.
Scarra Ntubeni – he has a bright future but I don’t see a star in the making.
Quinn Roux – a very bright future for this chap. He can definitely go all the way.
Eben Etzebeth – a lot has been said about this guy and his abilities down in the cape. He can and should be able to live up to them.
Hilton Lobberts – I think lock suits him more but he doesn’t play cleverly enough.
Siya Kolisi – this kid has huge potential. I see a bright future.
Nick Fenton-Wells – good, but not great. I feel he isn’t strong enough for top-flight rugby.
Nizaam Carr – great rugby player who reads a game well but once again his size and strength do not impress me. He will be bullied by bigger, dumber players.
Louis Schreuder - a very competent and consistent scrumhalf but doesn’t offer much more than that. I hear he is quick too… maybe wing?
Peter Grant – Once he is back he’ll definitely start. He should have gone to the WC. In my opinion he is a great player.
Burton Francis – I’ll pick him above Coleman only because he has more experience. Not a bad flyhalf, but not great either.
Marcel Brache – I think he can become very good, but not great.
Michael van der Spuy – he has potential and can play almost anywhere… blessing or boon?
- Reuben Johannes – don’t know him.
- Donovan Armandt – don’t know him.
- Berton Klaasen – not good enough.
- Tom Botha – don’t know him.
- Adrian Kritzinger – don’t know him.
- Kurt Coleman – unlucky because he has talent.
- Bolla Conradie – feel he is too old now.
- JP du Plessis – hear he has talent but don’t know him.
- Tim Swiel – seen footage on YouTube and looks good but don’t know enough.
- Schalk Ferreira – not good enough
- Ricky Schroeder – good scrummy but not quite good enough yet. Has talent.
- Hein van der Merwe – don’t know him.
- Willem van Wyk – don’t think he has what it takes but is a good player.
- Allister Vermaak – too small for a prop.
- Gerhard van den Heever – not good enough
- Yaya Hartzenberg – not good enough.
These are the guys who I feel will probably not make the squad but I might be wrong. Most of them I don’t know. Bolla I feel is a tad too old now. I don’t rate Berton Klaasen at all but I feel that somewhere in the whole debacle at Province, him and Brache might be involved and not by choice. Kurt Coleman will probably feel aggrieved by not making it but I feel he might miss an important element at top level rugby. He has talent, make no mistake. I have seen Tim Swiel on YouTube and he looks good but I don’t know enough to make a call. Schalk Ferreira, Yaya Hartzenberg and Allister Vermaak I feel are just not good enough. The rest I just don’t know.
My conclusion is that this team will never be good enough to challenge. They have lost to much talent after having done all the hard work on them. Something fishy is going on in Stormers country and it smells rotten to the core. My prediction is the wooden spoon.