Stormers season review. Where did it go wrong?
July 16, 2013 in Uncategorized
The Stormers had a rugged campaign full of ups and downs; here is my season review of the Stormers campaign.
The Stormers probably had the toughest start of all teams in the competition. They started with 2 away games at the Bulls and then in Durban against the Sharks. Both games where tightly contested affairs but in the end the Stormers walked away with just one point from the opening 2 games. They then had the tough task of facing a very confident Chiefs side at home and although they came away with the win they let the visitors walk away with 2 bonus points, something that would rarely have been seen in previous seasons.
The Stormers then had a bye and it came at a good stage as they needed to rethink their game plan and how they were going to go about the rest of the season. They then faced a Brumbies side that at the time was on top of the log and was playing with tremendous confidence. The Stormers came out and looked like a different team beating the visitors 35-22 and a lot of people thought that it would be the turnaround of their season for the Stormers, but then came the next game against the Crusaders, a bogey team for the Stormers in recent years. The Stormers looked far from the side that in the previous week played the Brumbies of their feet and in the end the Crusaders walked away with a well-deserved victory in front of the “Cape Crusade”.
The season was not looking good for the Stormers after the loss against the Crusaders and then had the tough prospect of facing the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, a must win game for a team in unknown territory in the bottom halve of the log. The Stormers didn’t play to badly in the game, but neither did the Cheetahs and in the end, harshly I might add, de Allende gave away a penalty to the Cheetahs and Burton Francis had a chance to win the game in stoppage time. He slotted the penalty and the Stormers walked away with knowing that it would be very difficult for them to turn the season around.
The Stormers then played the Sharks at Newlands and as always it was a tough local derby but in the end a relieved Stormers outfit walked away with a win.
The Stormers had a bye before the start of the tour and it looked to benefit them as they started the tour with a very tough win against the Hurricanes. They then traveled to Auckland to face a very dangerous Blues side and once again it was heartbreak for the Stormers as they put in a valiant effort and lost against the Blues 18-17. It was a tough way to end a week where the Stormers had also been fined for “verbal abuse” against a match official in the Hurricanes win.
They were off to Australia to play the Waratahs and as had happened so many times in the season for the Stormers they lost out with less than 7 points losing 21-15 with a late try from Israel Foloa winning the game for the hosts. After that game the Stormers faced the Rebels and as a union faced an all-time low as they went down to the Rebels 30-21 and in the process became the first South African side to ever fall victim to the Melbourne side.
The Run – In:
The Stormers were back at Newlands knowing that only a miracle would help them to progress in the competition. They faced the Reds and after a tough and bruising game they came out winners 20-15. The Stormers knew that they didn’t stand any real chance to make the play-offs and finally started playing some good rugby in the following weeks.
The Stormers went on to record 2 wins against the Kings, and also good victories against the Cheetahs and Bulls.
The Stormers struggled in the campaign with a lot of injuries playing a massive role in the outcome of the season. The Stormers were forced to make positional changes and blood new players in Super Rugby as players were on the receiving end of season ending injuries at crucial times in the campaign. The Stormers could also never build solid momentum at home as a grueling fixture list had them traveling and playing some of the toughest Super Rugby teams away from home. New recruits Jaco Taute, Elton Jantjies and Michael Rhodes also didn’t have the desired impact although because of injury Jantjies had a long run in the Stormers number 10 jersey. Another major problem for the Stormers was also the fact that they did not score enough tries, and as in previous seasons, supporters and experts were scratching heads trying to find out how a backline as talented as the Stormers are incapable of scoring tries.
The Stormers had a bad season, but it’s a season where there were positives shown. It’s a season that the Stormers will need to learn from to make themselves proper title contenders in coming seasons.