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Round 2: Stormers v W Force



Both losers from last week, both will be looking to put in better performances than in the opening round.
For the Force they are on the road with little time to acclimatise before taking on the Stormers.
The Force will not have flyhalf Hilgendorf who bowed out with an injury against the Highlanders, but having Giteau as a replacement is not such a bad thing to have happen.

Also hope the Force move Mitchell to the wing and give him a chance to have a run (shocking game for him last week), he’s a talented player but needs to get his act together.
The Stormers thus far will be without lock Ross Skeate (injury and have not heard of who else is out of their line-up).

On this one I’m going with the Force. Why?
With Git. taking on the roll of fly half I think the Force will commit to a running game (although they have plenty of talent to cover the lineout’s).
If the Force can play an expansive game then they can they could run rings around the Stormers who still appear to be out of sorts with what style of rugby they intend on playing.
This one will be tough for the Force

The Stormers have a weak tight 5 and we have it all over them in the backs, so i feel the breakdown is where this game will be won or lost. If our loose forwards can compete with the Stormers monster back row and get our backs some quick ball ,then we should win this one.

I'll go Force by 10
Mitchell keeps faith in the Force
Wednesday 07th February 2007


Matt Giteau: Pivotal performance required for the Force
Western Force coach John Mitchell has shown faith in his team for Friday's clash against the Stormers at Newlands, making only one change to the side that lost to the Highlanders.

Fly-half James Hilgendorf is the sole omission after suffering a groin strain in last week's game. He is replaced by Matt Giteau at pivot, with Junior Pelesasa moving from the bench to inside centre and Scott Daruda coming into the 22.

Mitchell said it would take time for relationships and an understanding between players to develop and he would not be rushed into making positional changes in the absence of injury.

"We have decided to put the onus on the same group to be accountable," Mitchell said.

"We are about helping players grow and giving them a chance to improve their game. But that brings with it responsibility, and the players must better their performance."

Mitchell said areas for improvement had been identified and had been worked on at training, with particular focus on sticking to the team's playing method.

"It's critical that we improve the way we execute our method, and do it together, bringing more accuracy and patience to our game," the former All Blacks coach said.

Mitchell said playing any of the South African teams in South Africa was an exciting challenge which, in its short history, the team had responded well to.

During their three week tour of South Africa last season, the Force beat the Cheetahs in Kimberley, finished level with the Cats (now known as the Lions) in Johannesburg and went down to the Sharks in Durban.

"The Stormers will be keen to bounce back from their loss last week, just as we are, but we see playing at Newlands as a great opportunity," Mitchell said.

"They have an international standard backrow, so it should be quite a battle in the loose and I imagine both sides will lose some bark!"

Western Force: 15 Drew Mitchell, 14 Scott Staniforth, 13 Ryan Cross, 12 Junior Palesasa, 11 Cameron Shepherd, 10 Matt Giteau, 9 Matt Henjak, 8 Scott Fava, 7 Richard Brown, 6 David Pusey, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Rudi Vedelago, 3 Troy Takiari, 2 Brendan Cannon, 1 Gareth Hardy
Replacements: 16 Tai McIsaac, 17 Angus Scott, 18 Luke Doherty, 19 David Pocock, 20 Chris O'Young, 21 Scott Daruda, 22 Haig Sare

Date: Friday 9 February
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Kick-off: 18:00 (16:00 GMT)
Referee: Lyndon Bray (New Zealand)
Touch judges: Vinny Munro (New Zealand), Linston Manuels (South Africa)
Television match official: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

Western Force:

15 Drew Mitchell
14 Scott Staniforth
13 Ryan Cross
12 Junior Palesasa
11 Cameron Shepherd
10 Matt Giteau
9 Matt Henjak
8 Scott Fava
7 Richard Brown
6 David Pusey
5 Nathan Sharpe
4 Rudi Vedelago
3 Troy Takiari
2 Brendan Cannon
1 Gareth Hardy

Replacements: 16 Tai McIsaac, 17 Angus Scott, 18 Luke Doherty, 19 David Pocock, 20 Chris O'Young, 21 Scott Daruda, 22 Haig Sare

Swap Drew and Shep around, Bring in Hodgson for Pusey, and get rid of Sare for Ioane and that would be a great team
Here is the Stormers line-up:

15- Gio Aplon
14- Breyton Paulse
13- Corne Uys
12- Jean De Villiers
11- Conrad Jantjies
10- Naas Olivier
9- Bolla Conradie
8- Joe Van Niekerk
7- Schalk Burger
6- Luke Watson(capt)
5- Andries Bekker
4- Gerrie Britz
3- Eddie Andrews
2- Schalk Brits
1- JD Moller

16- Tiaan Liebenberg
17- Brok Harris
18- Francois V D Merwe
19- Robbie Diack
20- JP Joubert(ex-Framesby High!)
21- Brent Russell
22- De Wet Barry

Pretty much the same as last week, save for an injury to Ross Skeate at lock. I would have preferred to start with Francois vd Merwe at lock, as he is definately the most physical of the Stormers locks, and our tight 5 is missing some mongrel. Big, strong, 126kg unit- why is he on the bench?

Wrt the Force line-up, not much in the forwards to hurt the Stormers, with the exception of Sharpe and Fava. IMO Cannon is highly overrated. Very talented backline for the Force, as with the Stormers. However, it is looking decidedly dark in Cape Town at present, and unseasonal rain is predicted for the match, which would probably not suit either team.

I`m going with the Stormers this week, only because of the fact that they`re up against another pretty average tight 5, and the Stormers should have it over the Force to the loose ball.
However, it is looking decidedly dark in Cape Town at present, and unseasonal rain is predicted for the match, which would probably not suit either team.


I've beenr eading about the weather for newlands the past week, things don't look too good :(

I still have nightmares about that sharks game at kings park during the currie cup, NO Francious, you *******, it's not humanly possible !... *Wimper*
I just want to wish the Western Farce good luck for this weekends game.

They still played fairly poorly against a team that virtually beat themselves, like the Force last week. Attacking wise they were woeful considering the Stormers have probably one of the more erratic and unstructured defenses in the competition, granted it was raining. I'm happy they were able to grind out the win though.
1st game of there s.a tour..not bad and a good foundation to work off of as a victory
Well it wasn't pretty, and we were playing arguably the worst side in the comp.... but a wins a win and after last week we'll take anything.

It's gotta be a positive that we won so easily without unleashing our backs, at least we know now that our forwards can compete.Once this backline starts to click we'll be very tough to beat, but thats still a few weeks away.

Team i want to see next week...

12.le' FORTH


ps. Just wanna give a big shout out to foxtel for the excellent coverage.... No feed in the second half?... f***outta here you amateur cnuts!
And with their "performance" on Sat, the Stormers are the early odds-on favourites to "achieve" the Super-14th place in this year`s comp.

A couple of points wrt the current Stormers problems:

- Selection: OK, so it`s common knowledge that the Stormers have one of the worst light 5`s in the comp. But what is one of the better tighthead props in SA, ex-Bull Andries Human, doing twiddling his thumbs in Paarl, while Boland falls under the Stormers region? Why is Francois V D Merwe, one of the leading lights during last season`s Currie Cup, warming the bench? Why did the Stormers contract Conrad Jantjies, good player that he is, but it`s not as if the Stormers are short of quality outside backs- why didn`t they rather look at getting a decent hooker, lock or loosehead? Why are the excellent Boland flyers, Rayno Benjamin and Jongi Nokwe, not included, and do players like Jantjies have to be imported? And why oh why is Brent Russell contracted, to sit and collect more splinters on the bench than at the Sharks, while we are really short of some inspiration at 10?

- Coaching: After the debacle against the Cheetahs, what was Fester`s response? Uhm, let`s see- I don`t have much of a game-plan, so let`s just talk hard to the players and give them a long, hard training session. Rudolf Straueli and his Staaldraad tendencies revisited? And this while we have Gary Gold and Slapchips Rossouw working wonders at the lower levels with Province.

- Captaincy: OK, so I`ll probably be crucified for this back in Cape Town, but do you really want a 22-year-old kid, who washed out his mouth of the whole Bok squad last year, captaining senior Boks like Schalkie, Big Joe and JDV, while they`ll most likely not respect him. Could this be the reason why Watson`s trying to do everything, including ill-advised chip-kicks, by himself?

- Basics- Against the Cheetahs, we lost 4 from 7 line-out throws. Last season`s CC semi-final saw 2 missed kick-off receives ending in 14 Bulls points. The shocking decision-making and handling just follows this lead.

Anyway, congratulations to the Force. If it wasn`t for the weather, the`d probably have put 40 on over the Stormers on Saturday`s performance. The Force now has something to work on and move forward from. The Stormers, not.