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Stormers Injury Crisis??

April 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

With injuries staying away in the first few weeks of Super Rugby (except Burger). It looked like the Stormers may have a injurie free run through the S15 to make up for 2011 injuries.

BUT in the last two weeks we have seen most of the senior players getting injured. So as it stands it just might be a injurie crisis at the Stormers although no one really calling it yet.

Schalk Burger – injured knee and no mention when he is supose to return.

Andries Bekker – injurred back could play this weekend but may well sit out.

Jean de Villiers – wrist rumoured that he might be back for the Cheetahs.

Duane Vermeulen – Leg rumoured might be 3 months.

Eben Etzebeth – shoulder could play weekend but already played against Reds with injury.

Gio Aplon – Hammie nothing yet but normally 4 – 6 weeks.

These are the main injuries. Problem being 4 captains out of the team which leaves a team that already only boasted an average age of 23 against the Reds with even less senior players.

The Stormers defence first gameplan does take a higher toll on the bodies of players and this might be one area where the Bulls have an advantage cause their core group hardly ever get injurred.(think Steyn has he ever been injured?)

They only face the Force this weekend but what should have been an easy victory on the way home now turns into a real tussel with a chance of defeat becomming a reality.

Vermeulens injurie (like in 2011) might well be the worst for the Stormers because his physicality at the back will be missed most.

A lot will depend on when Burger, Bekker and Jean can return and if any of them stays out for a long period it might seriously hamper the Stormers chances.

WPRU for all their flaws and admin miss haps still has probably the most depth of any union. But experience will be the problem in big games.

Anymore “senior” players (there aren’t really that many left) getting injured and we might all start calling it a real crisis.


How bad is Schalk’s injurie?

April 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

When Schalk got injurred in the first game against the Canes I thought: “that looks a lot like Vermeulens injury in 2011!”

I was pleasently surprised when the official report said it is not as bad and he will be ready in 4-6 weeks.

Well 6 weeks has come and gone and Burger is not yet even running.

This got me thinking that they, as the docs sometimes do, gave him a choice – they can opperate but that will be the end of his 2012 season or they can treat it conservatively and he might be ready in 6 weeks or might not.

Well it looks more and more if the injurie is worse than first thought. Everybody is tight lipped about the situation and whether he now might have surgury after all.

Now I am not one of Schalks old school friends and also not his doctor but it seems a bit scarry that when he should now have been playing some Vodacom cup he isn’t even running.


Should overseas based players be considered??

April 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

The whole Jacque Fourie issue (and MU blog) got me thinking.

Should Saru (Meyer) pick overseas based player for the Springboks (aka BlouBokke) ?

Now the obvious possitives are players like JF (who declined) is still the best OC we have “in South Africa” and will still be an obvious first choice. Other players like Frans Steyn (although comming back), Bakkies Botha, FdP and Gathru can all still add vallue to a bok team.

The problems (and there is a few) are:

These players clubs are only forced to release these players during the official IRB sanctioned test periods. ie June and Nov test windows. The new Nations Cup does not fall into this period.

Saru then have to seriously kiss some arse and pay huge sums of money to get these players released for non-IRB sactioned tests. And this is not an guarantee that these clubs will release players. Which is understandable these clubs pay a small fortune to get the services of these players. This then becomes a logistical nightmare.

This leads to players accusing SARU and SARU accusing players to not be willing to play for their country.

The other problem is the league in Japan (esp.) but also in Europe is not quite on the same standerd then the SH. A lot of the time these players struggle to find form and get up to pace with the SH game. Ruan Pinaar and even Frans(at times) looked seriously out of form last year although preforming for their clubs. The exception here might be props cause the NH conditions puts more emphasis on scrums. Although Nz teams and SA teams do all have decent scrums.

Another problem is that (like Heyneke did recently) if you declare that you would like to pick overseas based players this will  encourage younger players (like WP Nel , Hargreaves? ect.) to go play in Europe for more money and will weaken the local game and teams. This will also force SARU to negotiate with all these clubs for their services as mentionded above.

Now I am not saying we should take a Nz stance on the issue where no overseas based players can be selected.

I actually thought this was one area where PdV got it right! (well sort off)

His system where he would select local players first to repay them for their loyalty and only in a real crisis or if a player is by far the best, he would select overseas based players.

At the moment we have enough players in every possition to not need overseas based players (except maybe at OC but JF anyway declined).

Yes we have lost a lot of experience this season with players going abroad but tell me how are these youngster supose to get experience if every bok coach are to scared to pick  them??

Heyneke made it clear that he wants Victor and all his overseas based buddies back mostly (he says) because of experience and maybe cause the wont be so fetiqued (not having just played 3/4 of a S15 AND for the Bulls and Stormers just comming of a brutal derby).

I just think this sets a dangerous president so early in a coaches career.


The World According to Heyneke Meyer!!

April 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

The coulors of the rainbow.

The Full Map of South Africa





Poster above his bed. Blue and Gold!!

Poster in his toilet!!!


The real acid test for the Stormers.

April 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

Every rugby journalist in the last few weeks said that the Stormers biggest tests will be against the Bulls , Highlanders and Saders.

In truth all matches in the S15 are real acid test and the REAL ACID TEST is how you respond to your first loss and first injurie crisis.

Now with Bekker being out (how long?) and Etzebeth injured (might play) it may not yet be a crisis but with Burger being out this certainly takes away most of the experience the Stormers had up front.

The real acid test will be for the Stormers to try to limit their losing streak to one game.

With the Reds not in the same form as in 2011 many people think they will not be a tough nut. But I dissagree they are coming off a bye and will be rearing to go and “save” their season.

This weekend might make or brake the Stormers season. Although a loss won’t mean season over it will put huge presure on the men from Cape Town to win convincingly in Perth and Newlands the next two weeks.

So the real test for the Stormers starts now. Nobaody go through the league fase unbeaten and no SA team has ever won all their tour games.

On the other front the Bulls have been going well. Their real test will only start when they move away from altitude when their kick’n chase game will not be quite so effective. Although their Aus/Nz tour is not that difficult it will still be a challenge to see how their game plan will fare away from home.


Should Heyneke use the old guard?

April 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

With the Bulls demolishing the Saders and on an unoficial bye this weekend against the Lions. Where they will pick-up 5 points and probably move past the borring Stormers!

I have decided to turn my attention to the National Cause!

We all know that Heyneke still rate players like Fourie du Preez, Bakkies Botha, Danie Rossouw, Victor Matfield(even though he is retired), Gathro Steenkamp ect.

The rumor mill is still going on that he is in talks with Victor to make an comeback and if not then Fourie will be his captain.

Now everyone knows I am a huge Bulls supporter and have the biggest respect for all the hero’s of the last decade. But for me those players are past their best and not in the same form that they were in 2007- 2010.  When they were the best in the world. No doubt.

I also know Heyneke only want to bring back these players for the first season so he can get to know the other players and decide on a captain and new stallwarts for the future.

I THINK THIS WOULD BE WRONG!! I know he is result driven and don’t want to change the team to mutch because of being afraid of losing.

I for one would not be upset if we lose a game or two because of inexperience. This will only help the players in the future.

You see I (like Heyneke) do think that most of the Bok team should be made up of Bulls players BUT the current Bulls team not the one that won everything in the last decade!

Players like Francios Hougaard, Morne Steyn, Wynand Olivier,Bjorn Basson, Zane Kirschner Pierre Spies, Jacques Potgieter, Juandre Kruger, Flip van der Merwe, Chilliboy Ralaphela, Dean Greyling, Werner Kruger ect. are the future of Springbok rugby for next 4 years and not the Hero’s of old.

It is beter to start building for year one than to wait for year 2 or 3.

Thus Heyneke’s plan to bring the whole Bulls coaching staff to the Bokke is the right move (although bad for my team)

And his plan to make the core of the Bok team up with Bulls players is the best idea ever BUT please let it be the current Bulls players and not the stars of yester year!!

As the song goes : Maak die Bulle almal Bokke —- I think this will be the song Heyneke will choose to play on the bus ride to the stadium on match days. I just hope it will be the current Bulls team that hears it and not the Old Hero’s.


Lions to make way for Kings?

April 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

I know it is only the begining of April but already it looks like the SA conference wooden spoon will go to the Lions.

It was always going to be either the Lions or Cheetahs, and with the Cheetahs slow start everyone thought it would be the Cheetahs. But boy have they stepped up and have really been playing good rugby. I think it has something to do with Brussow and Goosen.

The Lions on the other hand have been slowly getting worse every week. Yes they have had a torred time with injuries and no team would be great with 10 front line players injured. (I still believe it is because they over played the players in 2011.)

The problem for the Lions is that they still have to play the Bulls twice and the Stormers at Newlands. In between that they still have to tour. They do not have the worst fixture list in Aus/Nz except maybe for the Chiefs who will be difficult. 

The way they have been losing at home they might well be in a place where they will have to win 3/4 games on tour to get off the bottom of the log.

If it so happens they end up at the bottom of the SA log. I wonder how long they would be able to keep their good players?

Who would like to buy their players. How will the contrating of the players work? Will MTN still want to sponser a non Super Rugby team? Will they have enough money to keep any good players.

Players like: Elton Jantjies ; Josh Strauss;  Pat Cilliers; Jaco Taute will be on many a teams pick-up list.

Other players that might not be that good may well opt to play in Eng and France.

This ofcoarse is just speculation but one find it hard to see the Lions being able to keep on as a “top” team if they do get relugated.

It is sad that they went from Cury Cup champs to Super Rugby probabel wooden spooners (SA Conference) in less than 2 months.