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Monday, January 09, 2006


Super 14: South Africa - Super 14 under the spotlight: The Stormers

It is Sunday, 10:10 in the morning. I have just finished my early morning shopping in preparation for the curry potjie I plan to make later today. I already have my first whiskey next to me as I am writing this. Why you may ask? Well only because it is the 4th damn time this weekend I am attempting to write my fourth article on South African Super 14 teams! Hopefully I will be able to finish it this time in a sober enough state to still enjoy my potjie. I reckon by now most of you have guessed it already, today I will take a closer look at The Stormers.

The reason I find it so difficult to write about the Stormers are down to two reasons I guess, first of the fact that I support them should be no real surprise to anyone, and secondly when I go through the team sheet, the players, the individuals involved, the history, I should be extremely positive about the teams chances, yet, every single time I start to write about them, I cannot help feeling this will be the worst campaign I will have to endure in my team’s history.

So far my attempts on writing about the Stormers sounded extremely negative, so much so that even the most one eyed Shark supporter would feel sorry for them. This is why I decided to focus on the players, the coaches, the challenges they are faced with, and I saved my personal view for the last section of this article, the personal prediction section.

It seems since rugby turned professional every WP and Stormers supporter has been asking one question more than any other: “How in the hell could we have let that player slip from underneath our noses?” and I am afraid not much has changed in 2005.

Apart from one or two players that left the Cape, whose names I have decided would constitute immortal sin if I had to mention them in public ever again, WP and the management of the franchise managed to loose a couple of talented players yet again.

I suppose the most well known of these are the Rose brothers, Gaffie du Toit (I know not many will agree with me but I will discuss Gaffie in detail and why I believed he was vitally important for the Stormers’ cause later) and a not so well known youngster, in Dollie, who has joined the Southern Spears franchise. Add to this the fact that a guy like Egon Seconds, a guy with the best conversion rate when it comes to tries scored in the amount of matches he has played, was not even included in the initial squad, and you can’t help but get the feeling of, ‘here we go again’.

The Stormers has undoubtedly carried the SA flag in the Super 12’s history, consistently ending up in the top half of the log. This, more than anything else will be their saving grace in this years extended competition in my view, the players know what it takes to win in this type of environment.

I have mentioned the importance of experience in the Cheetah article, and the Stormers might actually end up as South Africa’s second best team if the Cats and Cheetahs fail to deliver.

The Stormers’ strength, as with the Cats, undoubtedly lies with their backs in my view, the only difference being that the Cats boys are very high on confidence whereas the boys from the Cape, judged on their recent performances, leaves me with more questions than answers.

The Stormers’ first choice backline for the competition, judging on recent selections, should more or less look like this:

9. De Kock
10. Grant
11. Nokwe
12. De Wet
13. De Villiers
14. Chavanga
15. Greeff

Now apart from Grant and Nokwe being a bit inexperienced, that is one mean bloody backline. Given the fact that you have a well-rested Marius Joubert in the wings as well that can cover both center and wing, you would guess that this backline would give most teams nightmares.

On the reserve bench you still have guys like Rhylands, Seconds, Bolla and the likes, the Stormers look pretty well set in this department.

Hell the forwards does not look that bad either. With guys like Joe, Schalk, Badenhorst, Melck, Watson covering the loosie department, Bekker, Skeate, Gerrie Britz and Linde is not too crap for the main guys covering the lock division, and in Brits, Shimmie, Andrews, Moller and the signing from Griquas the forwards should hold their own against most opposition teams.

So why so negative about the team's chances? Well without sounding like a stuck record on this issue, I believe the Stormers, as with WP, lack structures and faith in their coaching staff, and more importantly, they need a captain, and quick.

Remember that this team, apart from one or two players, was the same team that competed in the 2005 Currie Cup, and yes I know I said I don’t take Currie Cup form and use it as a gage for the Super 14, but boy oh boy, these guys were shocking against some pretty ordinary opposition. The only other team that was more disappointing was the Sharks, at least the Cheetahs won the Currie Cup and the Lions gave the Bulls a good run for their money in the semis, something this team never looked capable of doing. And if you think the Bulls is tough opposition………..

Okay but there I start again being all negative. There are three main areas in the current Stormers setup, which concerns me; selection, coaching and captaincy.

From a selection point of view their main challenges lies with hooker, with Shimmie and Brits, in the loosies with Melck and Watson who are extremely talented but was afforded minimum game time so far, the first choice scrumhalf and the midfield combination.

A lot has been mentioned about the acquisition of Brits, and although he definitely seems to be the exception to the rule when it comes to front row players, I am still in two minds whether he will cut it or not.

Now before people crucify me, let me categorically state, this guy has brilliant skill. He steps and pass like a center, he accelerates of the mark like a wing, and he shows the vision of a flyhalf. But that is exactly my problem, whenever people rave about Schalk Brits, none of the skills or talent usually associated to be a world-class hooker is ever mentioned. With that I am also not saying he is a bad hooker, just not the type of player, or legend, some people already believe him to be.

I believe Kobus will do well to give Shimmie a decent amount of game time. The guy is a very good player, who has ended up with the short end of the stick too often. As with a players like Gerrie Britz and Luke Watson, who only seemed to have lost form once joining the Cape side, Shimmie is a much better player than what we have seen so far. But that is a whole new story altogether.

In my opinion Shimmie should be first choice, with Schalk replacing him for the first couple of games of the season in the 50th or 60th minute. Schalk, with his skills and talent, could prove more than useful once the game traditionally enters a stage where it is a free for all and very unstructured.

In Schalk Burger and Big Joe, we have two world class loose forwards. The one area we lack in my view is having a classic fetcher. The news coming from the Stormers camp is that Joe might miss a couple of games due to injury, which is a bit worrying. In Adri Badenhorst the Stormers have a player with a lot of experience, but average in my view. Melck has shown a hell of a lot of promise, but yet again, this is the Super 14, not Currie Cup.

My ideal loose forward combination will be:

6. Watson
7. Schalk
8. Joe

With Melck and Badenhorst being used as impact players. But then again, we don’t always get what we want.

The scrumhalf situation is very difficult, mainly because both Bolla and De Kock are both poor. At his best De Kock has one of the best passes in the game and a boot to go with it, but he has not been at his best for some time. In Bolla you have a really nippy and aggressive scrumhalf, who will prove useful in the Super 14, but he too, has been far from his best in recent months.

Unfortunately I think the best scrumhalf WP and the Stormers have wont get any game time except if it is injury forced, Paul Delport.

The midfield also poses a real headache from a selection point of view. Looking at selections made during the Currie Cup season, Kobus and his coaching staff does not share the same views on De Villiers than what Jake White does. It seems they prefer him at outside center rather than wearing the number 12 jumper, which in my view is his best position. But can you afford to keep a guy like an in-form Marius Joubert out of any starting 15?

Well he has not played for a while, so I reckon they will play him form the bench to ease him back into competitive rugby which off course is the right thing to do, but what happens if he completely rips defenses apart from the game time he gets offered of the bench?

The logical move would be to move De Villiers to 12 and play Marius at 13, but I believe the Stormers coaching team will never drop De Wet, which will make for interesting viewing during the competition.

Personally I will play Marius of the bench for the first 4 or 5 games of the season, and experiment with either taking De Villiers off, move him to 12 and take De Wet off, or move DeVilliers to 10 with the tried and proven combination of De Wet and Joubert in the midfield.

It is said that as long as you have dreams you have a reason to live. So even though it might never happen, my dream backline for the Stormers will be:

9. Delport
10. De Villiers
11. Nokwe
12. De Wet
13. Joubert
14. Seconds
15. Chavanga

Reserve players: Bolla to cover scrumhalf, Greeff to cover flyhalf, fullback and center, and Rhylands to cover wing.

Of course you will say that I have no kicker, which is why I would love to highlight the fact I believe Gaffie was so important, or Rose & Dollie even. All three of those players would have been my first choice fullbacks with Chavanga moving to the wing.

Even more concerning than the selection headaches that faces the Stormers team this year, is the coaching issue.

There has been way too much bad press in 2005 regarding Kobus and Nick. If I may refer back to all three my previous articles to how important it is for the players to buy into the coach’s vision, I believe that this is one aspect this team seriously lacks.

There have been reports of racism, screaming matches in change rooms, and of course extremely questionable selections of players clearly out of form but being persisted with. This does not bode well for this team. One almost gets the feeling of ‘It is either my way, or the highway’, and this is no way to run a professional outfit.

I am regrettably reminded of the infamous Stormers strike on the eve of their home semi against the Highlanders, and the fact that something similar might happen again, is not too far fetched in my mind if my fears holds any truth.

Can this be avoided, or is there light at the end of the tunnel? Most definitely, but only if Nick Mallet drops this charade and does what he was meant to do within WP and Stormers rugby, become actively involved with the coaching of this hugely talented team.

The last issue I will take a closer look at is the captaincy issue.

It has been mentioned that Schalk Burger will take charge of the Stormers in 2006. Now although I am extremely pleased Neil de Kock wont be captain again, I also believe Schalk is not the right man for the job.

Schalk is very talented and hugely important to the Stormers’ cause in 2006 without having to carry the burden of captaincy as well. I still believe there are a lot of areas on his game he needs to work on, and if he has to carry the burden of captaincy as well, not only will his personal game suffer in my view, but the areas he needs to improve on will also fall behind.

So who do I think should be considered to captain this team? Well a few candidates’ springs to mind.

Joe van Niekerk will become one of the legends of South African rugby if he is managed well, and looking at Joe from Lions days, this guy has leader written all over him. One of the drawbacks are that he is injury prone, and that his confidence is maybe not up to the level it should be.

A choice, which is really a no-brainer in my view, is that of Paul Delport. He is young, highly skilled, and captained successful world cup teams at age group level. If Nick and Kobus were really serious when they say they are rebuilding a team, what better choice than a young future leader of South African rugby?

But then again, that will not happen this year. So my personal choice is someone that another poster, St Petersburgbok, mentioned a while ago, De Wet Barry.

De Wet has been around the block and is very experienced. When he was chosen as vice captain for the Springboks a while back, we saw a complete change in the once irresponsible headless chicken we got to know as De Wet Barry.

I also believe he commands a huge amount of respect from the players currently in the Stormers squad.

Players to watch

Well apart from the whole squad, I did manage to single out a few players who will prove vital for the Stormers’ cause. Although Chavanga will have a significant role to play, I believe a guy that has a lot to prove given the press that surrounded him in 2005, is Nokwe. In quite a few Currie Cup games he has shown he might prove to be a real force to be reckoned with, but he will really need to step up a gear if he is to command the same respect from international players.

Jean de Villiers, even though he had an average to poor stint in Springbok colours this year, is still regarded by many as the next Danie Gerber or Michael du Plessis. Again, don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of the guy, but so far he has been disappointing, and if I was Jake I would be most pleased if Marius Joubert and De Wet Barry displays the form they did in 2004. The 2006 Super 14 will make or break Jean de Villiers’ reputation, because the SA public is patient, but not that patient, and I for one hopes he delivers on the promise.

De Wet Barry is a guy that brings a hell of a lot to the park, and me for one, firmly believes that the majority of fans underestimates the importance of this guy. He will be the leader in the Stormers backline, and if De Wet can produce the form of 2004 he will not only be my first choice number 12 for France 2007, but also one of the leaders in the team.

In Peter Grant the Stormers have a player who has not really disappointed so much in his young career, but also has not shown much to make you believe he is number 10 that can really dictate a game. It is my view that if he had to play without the experience at 9 and 12 he enjoyed in 2005, he would be a good club rugby player, nothing more. The Stormers was in the news recently being in negotiations with guys like Jaco van der Westhuizen and David Humphreys, which is great for their cause. Well, maybe not Humphreys but if Jaco joined the Stormers squad for 2006, they will be far better off than the options at number 10 at the moment.

Bolla Conradie is at a crossroads in my opinion. If he has a good to great Super 14, he will be part of Jake’s plans for a long time to come, if he does not, he will become another Joggie Viljoen, a promising scrumhalf that never made the grade. Bolla has what it takes, he just need to drop this crap attitude that plagued his play in 2005.

Big Joe will have to come to the party this year if the Stormers stand any chance of saving face. It is almost certain that he might miss the first couple of games, but this is one area I believe the Stormers really performed poorly in 2005, their speed to the breakdown and dominance in this area of play. Joe has quite a couple of critics in South Africa, but he can only cement his place in the Springbok side through some solid performances in the Super 14 after Jacques Cronje had a terrible end of the year tour.

I think we can safely assume that Schalk Burger will captain the Stormers side, which is a mistake in my view as stated above. But regardless of the captaincy issue, the Stormers will most definitely need his presence in 2006. Schalk brings so much to the game and commands such a presence that it is vital for him to keep 3 or 4 opposition players busy throughout the 80 minutes in every game the Stormers play. If he manages to do this it will take a hell of a lot of pressure of his fellow forwards and especially the number 9.

Both Ross Skeate and Andries Bekker will have a mammoth task ahead of them this year. They are already mentioned in some circles as the future pair to take over from the successful Bulls partnership Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha. Unfortunately for them, they find themselves in a situation where they have everything to loose and not much to gain, if they fail in 2006, they will just be another couple of players that is not good enough to take the step up, and if they succeed, they will be the silver lining in an otherwise depressing depth situation in South African rugby. Given the fact that one of the greatest perceived weaknesses in the Stormers’ armor is the tight five, they have some work to do in 2006.

I will be extremely surprised if Hanyane Shimange is not the first choice hooker, and so to will he I believe. Shimmie, as mentioned above is probably the highest paid rugby player in the world to almost never take the field. He must be rearing to go and prove himself to be the second best hooker after John Smit in South Africa.

Logical prediction

Okay coming down to the business end of my piece it is extremely difficult to place the Stormers in this year’s competition simply because of all the variables involved.

If the Stormers perform to 70% of their potential and the Cats and Cheetahs falls to pieces, they might easily end up the second best team in SA and make me look like a fool, hell they might just end up being the best SA team in which case I would write a public apology to the players I have criticized as well as the coaching staff in every single daily newspaper in South Africa.

But if my predictions are anything to go by, any and all Stormers supporters should be happy with a mid to low log table finish.

Highest possible log position: 6
Lowest possible log position: 12

Personal prediction

I am going to stick to the fact that we will experience the worst campaign by this franchise yet in the history of the competition.

The factors that largely contribute to this are exactly the same reasons I believe the Cats, Bulls and Cheetahs will do better, they have great leaders, and good to brilliant coaches and structures.

There is a great chance though, and I mentioned this earlier, that they might just end up being one of the top two teams in South Africa, but that will mean the Cats and Cheetahs fail – and unfortunately, I don’t see that happening.

As a Stormers supporter my heart says that if they perform to even only 80% of their potential, this team is good enough to reach the semis. But my head tells me in order for that to happen Kobus need to pull the proverbial rabbit out of a very worn and torn looking hat.

The Stormers are too good a team to be relegated, so my fellow fans can sleep easy, another team already booked that place.

Highest possible log position: 8
Lowest possible log position: 12
Sheesh, about time you did the Stormers, PA ;-)

I'll read it a little later.

maybe you dont want to ras!!!

i started this piece on a whiskey, and finished it on a gin and dry lemon...

one thing that made me smile though is that according to one sunday newspaper jean de villiers might actually run out in the number 10 jumper....

but joe is definately crocked for the first 4 or 5 games.
Eish- but you are hard on your own PA...

Just joking- you are cinsistent in your arguments both for and against

I hope the Stormers do better than both your predictions and that Nick, along with Bolla should have an attitude ajustment.

Hope you guys keep your young players.

Please send Rayno Benjamin to Bloem
hell OO,

what you doing up so late on a Sunday????

anyhow, i hope so too. i did not even mention benjamin because i believe he is not rated by the coaches, which is a pitty, and i slammed them enough on other areas and thought bringing the benjamin issue up will be a bit toooooo much.

funny though, i see the rapport almost punts him as first choice wing.
Hehehe, PA, you are as optimistic as I am!!!

I may just be a doom merchant but I can see us troubling the relegation zone.

I really don't need to give St Pete any further ammo!

I would appreciate having my name struck from anything involving WP/Stormers......thanks in advance.

Also ,when you say worst campaign ever, do you mean it gets better/worse than 75-14?

Also, for me......Rob Linde might not be a bad choice as Captain.Of course, he has to be selected every week then and is not that great a player, but exactly the sort of bloke you want as captain. Unassuming,hardworking, a WP man through and through......and not a Bok, the continuety would be there heading in to the CC later.

DeWet,Devilliers and Joubert would all be playing if I was the coach.

Greef hasn't done much for years, he wouldn't make my first 15 yet.The thought of Chavanga at fullback scares me too much defensively, I'd leave him on the wing.Nokwe on the other.....possibly see how DeVilliers goes at fullback for a couple games.Otherwise DeVilliers to the wing....Greef at fullback.Joubert has to play, he will be hot this year.He always is when he has come back from injury.

Chavanga or Nokwe to the bench.

The looseforwards select themselves.
6 Watson
7 Burger
8 Joe

I still liked the look of Watson as an 8 going back to the Sharks days.Possibly Skalk as 6 and big Joe as 7? Also a good option,but one that would piss Jake White off.

5 Linde
4 Skeate

3 Some oke
2 S.Britz
1 Another oke

Still looks like a very soft tight 5 though but with a seasons more experience, so expect them to be better this year.

Writing an article on the Stormers as negative as this completely immolates any crappy comments StP may make!
Geez StP

Are you feeling sorry for the Stormers fans?

You've got to admit though, it's a relief that the WP faithful are finally starting to see the light.

Flat track bullies,etc.....
Incedently, what is the consensus withregards to the Spears win against EP?

For me, as a first ever is acceptable.

Should they be play on Saterday again, I expect to see a 55 pointer.

your Cape Town and SACS connection has forever made you a man that i know has a soft spot for the goats...

does linde seem like the type of guy with the savvy to lead a team like that? even CC?

i agree on watson at 8 strangely enough, but reading yesterdays sunday paper Joe said he wants to now specialise at 8, something i think they stormers coaching staff will be happy in doing i believem, but it seems he is out for at least the first 4 to 5 games...

i also read in the rapport yesterday that de villiers might actually just run out in the number 10 jersey...maybe my dream backline was not that far fetched.

chavanga at 15 does not scare me that much really, his skills are not that bad, but his tackling might be a concern i will concede as much.

you dont rate bekker above linde at lock? or is that because of the captaincy issue?

moller, andrews and brits seems to be the guys that will pack down in the front row, at least they will be competitive against the aussies.
btw my view on the spears are as i mentioned on the thread, it was EP, lets see what happens this weekend.

btw, go to the spears thread, before the game thread, tony left a msg there, aparently they are going to make streaming available for us okes far away so we can watch the game or something.
I wouldn't start with Skeate and Bekker in the S14.......two complete novices,I'd want at least one lock with prior experience.

Maybe Gerry Britz will have a better season?

When were SA captains ever savvy?

Lindes passionate,hardworking and honest, simple traits that a South African player could appreciate and respect.

He'd make a decent Captain.

I agree except for one point. I don't believe Jean's best position is 12. It is 13. That is where you need your playmaker.

On the screaming in the change rooms. According to Corne's book Nick did this with the Springboks aswell. One thing however that he did mention is that the players had huge respect for Nick, because he would give tell you in no uncertain terms on a Monday morning what he thought of your play and be playing golf with you Monday afternoon.

Can't fault him on that. Although I still not agree with the approach in a professional setup of doing something like that in front of the whole team, at least he lets bygones be bygones and leaves it up to the players to fix tha mistakes. Gotta give credit there.
I'd also consider Jean at 13 but then that would mean moving Joubert out of position and,although he probably could play wing as well, it would be pointless wasting all his experience as am outside center and moving him out of position at such a late stage of his career.  
I'd also forget the DeVilliers at 10 idea.

There are other aspects to consider....DeVilliers at 10 means Conradie can forget about starting.

DeKoks tactical kicking would be needed.
Uitstekende artikel! Nie (net) omdat ek ook 'n Stormers ondersteuner is nie maar omdat dit die waarheid is. Ek is bly dat jy realisties oor alles was en nie soos baie ondersteuners verwag dat hulle weer 'n herhaling van 2004 MOET he nie. Ek verskil met so paar klein puntjies maar "overall" voel ek dat jy dit goed opgesom het.

Ek is regtig bly dat daar iemand anders is wat ook die waarde van Rayno Benjamin raak sien! Ek voel dat hy 'n speler is wat plek voor gemaak moet word as daar nie is nie. Sy Currie Cup was fenominaal om die minste te se, en dit met 'n "klein" span om hom te ondersteun. In my oppinie is hy beter as Nokwe. Ek voorspel dat as WP hom nie die seisoen gaan teken nie dat die Bulle hom gaan teken. Of 'n ander groot unie. Wag en kyk...
sounds like you are almost reffering to anton leonard there too StP, but i suppose it is a valid point.


i agree 100% with you on jean, maybe my piece did not indicate that clearly enough, playmakers should be 10 and 13, i am still of the believe jean will one day be a great 10, and if marius regains form, there is nothing more i would love to see.

on nick, i have worked under him before, tact is not his biggest asset believe me, i just think what worked in '98 & '99, wont work today, simply because of the nature of professionalism these days.

but i do rate him as one of the best coaches, which is why i say he need to drop this charade and start coaching, stuff this director crap, can you imagine the poor financial manager having to work under him as director?????
yup StP, de kock will then once again play a vital role, damn i just wish we could see more of the youngster at 9  


I somehow get the idea Nick won't get involved with the financial manager to much. Remember the FM still pays the salaries :-)


Grace from a Bulls man.

Magnanimous to the nth degree

Did you have some sort of epiphany this weekend.

PA - What's the news on Paul Delport? Will he or won't he play? How do you see the quotas imposed as impacting on Stormer chances? Could we see the Stormers being forced to start with Bolla?

I reckon you are wring about where playmakers need to be. Tana Umanga is not a play maker. Walter Little was never a playmaker. Will Carling wasn't a playmaker.

Against that?

Michael Lynagh, Johnny Wilkinson, Naas Botha and Steven Larkham are playmakers.

Micheal Du Plessis, Timmy Horan, Jean De Villers, Hennie Le Roux, Matt Giteau, Aaron Mauger and Jeremy Guscottt were / are playmakers.

13's are not playmakers. They are the power men who take the space your 10/12 combo has created, but they need more tactical nous than a wing, because sometimes their running needs to create space for 14/11. Instead their role, for the most part, is to be stroing straight runners capable of scything through opposition lines, or straightening drifting defensices or creating space for flyers to do their magic. Many people would disagree, but Jacque Fourie in my view comes close to being the perfect 13 ....

Jean De Villiers at 10 is a terrible idea. You're stifling the player's ability to create space because you're putting himn to close to the action and not far away enough to mnake his magic. His best positions are 12/13. That's it. Even at 13 I fear because he doesn't seem to have much in the line of pace anymore.
I agree, DavidS.

Prior to his crippling injuries I would have had Jean at 13, these days I believe his best role is 12 and he has the ideal 13 outside him in Jacque Fourie, who is almost the complete package.

These two, injuries permitting, can still craft a lasting legacy for themselves as they become more accustomed to each other.

We saw signs of it on the EOYT with two corruscating cuts inside from Fourie onto perfectly weighted balls from De Villiers.

One was disallowed and one led to a score. The disallowed one was marginal at best, I believe the Kiwis would have got the benefit of the doubt on that one.

I have high hopes for them but I can't get rid of this nagging concern over Jean's knee.
I get very nervous when St Pete damns with faint praise.

Must be a storm brewing!
By the way, how was the potjie, PA? I hope that thoughts of the Bulls didn't sour it?  
lol Rasp

Aren't you getting any sleep?

Good sentiments on the career crippling injury. At least he lasted the whole 2005 season so he must be doing something right.

My view is that 12 should have more brains than anything else. Pace is secondary.

Sometimes, you'll use the second receiver as a battering ram. For that we used JVN unsuccessfully in 2004 and Jacques Cronje equally unsuccessfully in 2005. Cronje has, unfairly however copped the most criticism.

The idea, I should think would be to use a battering ram like Richard Bands or John Smit from that 2nd receiver position if you want to set up second phase or run as a bullocking crash baller. Hell even Juan Smith or Schalk could do that.

If it weren't for Bakkies' abilities in the close contact situation and enfoprcer status I suppose he'd be best in that position for us.
As I posted elsewhere, it is interesting to read that Jacques Cronje is the second most powerful Bok benchpresser after CJ.

Maybe we just need to work with him more on technique when being used as the 'take it up' man?
e certainly has the strength Rasp.

What he needs is the willpower I reckon.

Not that anyone performed well overseas in Europe in 2005. It should be a worry given that there are so many expats there and the living seems fine. So why do our players perform better in 3N?

My guess is that there is an unknown factor about the EOYT. Our boys never get to face off against the Euros as often as they do the AB/Wallaby players with 3N every year and all the S12 matches there is more than enough time to work a player out while our lack of visuals in the European games must really hurt Jake White's reactive tactical analysis.

Pakslae and the rest to do what they do best later in the game.

be very affraid if you don't have a pack.
That's a load of rubbish Davids....

until recently our end of year tours where the only ones we looked forward to.

Now we can't buy ourselves a win there either.
Ja Stp and the point is simple

Jake White gets to watch literally 1000's of hours of viseo footage of Aussies and Kiwis playing and he can then work out how to play them.

He can do his reactive tactical planning to immolate their players the way he immolated Dan Carter and Richie McCaw this year.

Also our players are used to playing the Kwis/Aussies.

With NH it's different. Jake White does NOT have 1000's hours of video to look at. He doesn't have copmparable matches between them and our players to see their weaknesses.

Ergo, given that Jake White is a reactive tactician, he is unable to plan correctly for the match and impose his usual super structured planning system of game ply and our players, being used to the highly structured game play style are unable to counter the H players...hence we can't win anything there, while at the same point their technical analysts have hours of S12/14 and 3N video footage to immolate our players.
Het almal gesien dat Keo weer oop is?  

That means I stick to what I said.

The Harry Viljoen / Rudolph Straueli era were simple experiments in madness.

In the Jake White era losing in Europe is unforgivable and undoubtedly proof of coach failure given the incredible performances in 3N.
Ja Reinhardt dankie  
Nice piece PissAnt but my heart wont be able to handle us having our worste showing ever this year,i wont even mention my liver but i fear i cant argue too much on that one,it is a huge possibilty,ol Kobus doesnt strike me as being able to come up with anything,let alone a surprise.
Good Afternoon All
Eish, I missed a lot. So you reckon the Stormers will outperform the Sharks, PA? I wouldn't be so sure. Just kidding!

Look it's simple, the Stormers are a class act. They have allways been. Something is wrong at Newlands though, and I'm not sure what it is. I sincerely hope that they can sort out the problems in Cape Town, but I dont see it happen this year. Looks like there are to many underlining issues. I just hope they don't get regulated, cos even a "one eyed, Boere thug, Steve Hoffmeyer listening, Bulls supporter" knows that when they perform, they can compete with the best and Make SA proud.

Even a Prada wearing, Latte drinking, Mung Bean eating, Bronx dwelling dyed-in-the-wool Province fan can salute you for your choice of picture!
Thanx Ras. Not to get all emotional on the site, but I still can't think of that day without it bringing tears to my eyes. I can only speak from a supporter's point of view, but the guy wasn't just a brilliant player, but a true role model as well. Allways willing to go the extra mile for his fans. Enough on that now, I don't want to turn this into a tribute list. I'll probably go all teary eyed, like I did every day for two weeks after his death. just thinkning about it gives me tears in the eye.  
Look at what you've done now Rasputin. You made me go on a trip down memory lane and remember all of EB's brilliant moments. Now I'm all teary eyed at work.  
Aldo, boet, just between you and me, I was also like a helpless baby after I heard that news.

It was awful.

I can't quite pinpoint why it was Etienne especially who set me off but I think that it was because, despite all the dissapointments he experienced in not being selected for the Boks, he was always evervescent, bubbly and with a great big grin on his face.

Top bloke.
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