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TRF_stormer2010

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I see some of our players are topping all sorts of stats in the competition:

Apart from Moerat tying for most yellow cards the rest are thankfully all positive:

Roos, Libbok, Senatla and Gelant all either topping or featuring for points, scored, tries scored, runs, clean breaks, off loads, defenders beaten etc.

Apart from these Willemse has been excellent at 12. So too Ntubeni. Looking forward to the return of Moerat, Kitshoff and Malherbe. I am starting to get ideas of us potentially being competitive in a QF. I can't see us hosting unfortunately. But maybe if can get past Ulster I will dream a bit bigger.

Roos and Louw are going to make it interesting which the selectors go for post Vermeulen. Might it even be that we go to next year's RWC with one of the young guns supplanting Vermeulen? Probably not but they are both showing intent to work their way into a Bok jersey.

Pity for the Stormers we are already set to be without Gelant next year and I am not seeing any speculation of players coming into our fold.
 

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If the Stormers get some rich capetonian to invest properly in the team, they will win all......
 

TRF_stormer2010

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Possibly LOL. I think the thing is to get such a backer on we'll have to be sorting out the backroom politics. WPRU and the clubs have a massive stake in operations and won't say goodbye to their gravy train without a fight.

I don't think the other SA sides have that constraint that WP/Stormers inherited.
 

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So make or break time for our season. Or at least, this will be the game to see who will top the SA conference and host a QF. I would be happy if we only made the play-offs TBH especially considering our frustrating start to the season where we were essentially shafted out of wins VS Benetton, Connacht and Edinburgh. Well, moments of indiscipline also didn't help I suppose.

It might be a tad early to look at next season but I can't help it. Gelant will be a huge loss for next season. Alongside Roos and arguably Fourie our top performer though it has been largely a team effort. Depth might be an issue. We've been relatively lucky with injuries though. More so than any season of Super Rugby I can recall.

I really did like the combo of Gelant at 15 and Willemse at 12. I suppose we'll see Willemse move back to 15 sadly. That or one of Libbok, or promotion from CC of Peterson, Swiel or Wolhuter. None of those options are as ideal sadly particularly in light of Libbok's continued growth into our #10 role.

Senatla and Zas have taken their chances. Thought we'd miss VdMerwe more than what we have. I still think both of those could do more work off of the ball though but if the core function of a winger is to finish off try scoring chances they've certainly done that.

Willemse at the back will also mean we need to look at our #12 jersey. I saw De Allende is moving from Munster. Maybe a Stormers return? Otherwise I prefer 12 Pretorius, 13 Nel.

On that I see Faf de Klerk and Lood de Jager are both moving on from Sale. A stint in Japan and then back in SA? Not sure if I actually want any of those two at the Stormers mind you. Paul de Wet has been in fine form. Jantjies needs to regain form but we know what he can bring at club level and he is a more like for like player with De Wet. The Bokke ruined Jantjies IMO. We could do with a world class lock but De Jager is soooo injury prone and will command a hefty salary...

Other than at lock we are in good shape in the pack. At least we can field a good 1st choice pack 1 through 8. The depth is not there in quality though. Not in all 8 positions.
 

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For me, I'd put this season down as a success no matter how we go from here. I just hope the team isn't falling into that complacency trap the same I am as a fan. Probably just gotten used to expecting less. That said, though I am not expecting anything more than a SF I think we are in a position to build on as the main issues are quite fixable and I think Dobson has the game plan fit for this side nailed down and the culture looks good on the face of it.

Depth and the line out. Those are my only concerns going into next season. Losing Gelant is a blow as well. Though credit to Dobson he has been giving Willemse more time at 15 and his gone well. That said the loss will mean the lack of depth just gets more emphasized and we will lose the option to utilize Willemse's versatility.

So far we've been lucky the injury toll has been less than what was usual in SR.

My wishlist:

2 Jospeh Dweba - to put pressure on Ntubeni
3 Carlu Sadie - because he is wasted at the Lions IMO
4 Jason Jenkins, 5 JD Shickerling - I just don't rate our locks as world class
6 Kwagga Smith - as a like for like player for when Deon Fourie is out
utility back Johan Goosen, 15 Henry Immelman - should fit in well with our structures

Probably a bigger wishlist than what we will have a budget for but a fan can dream. I've tried not to cannibalize other SA sides (apart from Sadie) and stay in line with the approach of having dynamic forwards (again, apart from Sadie). Maybe if we can get back PSdT or a similiar type player for that 3rd line out option our line out might improve. I'm not sure how much of this is down to the throw in from the hooker though. I expect that's the main issue.
 

TRF_stormer2010

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Nothing new in this for a South African, but as a repentant Stormer sceptic it is nice to see a NH article on them.

No, I don't blame anyone who is surprised at the Stormers' recent patch of form. I'm still pinching myself from time to time. I've been cautiously optimistic and disappointed before. I think we are just experiencing some luck on the injury front. We've led many a SR campaign only to start dropping off halfway through with half a squad injured.


On that, I see Ntubeni is actually a serious injury and have gotten in a loner hooker from the Cheetahs since we have 3 hookers out injured. But apart from that we are going good on the injury front.
 

saulan

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I've been cautiously optimistic and disappointed before.
You’re just describing being a Stormers supporter here. Every year under AC with Nienaber as defense coach with the star studded forwards... or the men in black days with Montgomery, Paulse, Skinstad and Krige. I’m not considering us in with a shot this year, I’m just happy the team is one of the top teams and are performing well. But no one expected it from this team at the beginning of the year after losing top talent and the backroom pain.
 

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I've heard rumors that we are looking to sign Joseph Dweba. That would be great and ease my misnoeë at the signing of Blommetjies.

We need to step up though. Sharks have raided the Lions for their two best players: Tshituka and Sadie.
 

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Joseph Dweba announced as signed with us on a 3 year deal. Hopefully the 1st of many "upgrade" signings. No hate for the newly signed Blommetjies but I see Gelant as the better player and I'm sad to see him go.
 

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Where to from here for the Stormers.. ?

Our first non-Currie Cup silverware EVER. Yay, yes but can we build on it? My gut tells me we will remain a top 8 side but will struggle to compete in both the Euro CC and URC where a home QF would be about as much as I think we could reasonably hope for.

+ Jospeh Dweba and Blommetjies and - Warrick Gelant as confirmed. Rumor has it we are losing Kitshoff as well. Dweba will be welcome but TBH he will only be adding to depth we already have albeit I think he would be our best hooker. Losing Gelant and Kitshoff will hit us where we don't have depth in class and we are losing world class there. Blommetjies stands equal to our other options there IMO. I'd hate to do it but if we don't sign a classy 15 I'd prefer to move Willemse to 15 and Bring one of our plethora of centers in at 12. But again, in both cases it'd be a minor step down from what we've had this season. Speaking of this season I can't imagine we will have as much luck going forward WRT injuries. We went into the final missing out only really Ntubeni as a first choice player and we really didn't miss much between Kotze and Venter covering. Add in how many ECC games...

So no bonuses for the ***le but surely we must look an attractive option for players looking for signings AND perhaps more importantly adding a few more sponsors? I hear the sale of Newlands is being held up so there is a question mark around our finances.

I suppose we'll have to see what transpires WRT signings and hopefully more sponsors. Maybe the trend bucking continues and I'm just being the Stormers supporter tentative about our chances at going further than failing when it matters?

15? (Willemse), Blommetjies, T Leyds
Problem area of note in my book!

14/11 Zas, Senatla, Petersen, Specman, Davids
5 quality wings and somewhat like for like- we should be fine here although Specman is getting on in years

13 Nel, Du Plessis
12 (Willemse) Pretorius, De Jongh, Smit, Mngomezulu
Great but we will probs have to move Willemse to 15 which takes away a tad. Actually decent depth here if none of our centers are world class at least any one of them could conceivably have a blinder on the day.

10 Libbok, (Willemse), Wolhuter, Swiel, (Mngomezulu)
I havn't seen Wolhuter in an absolute age. If he is maturing and finding form we should be fine here.

9 Jantjies, De Wet, Ungerer, Masimla
Actually better off than I was thinking assuming everyone stays on.
 

TRF_stormer2010

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8 Roos, Pokomela
7 Dayimani
6 Fourie, Xaba
Need one or two of Du Toit, Dixon, Theunissen or Van Rhyn to step up or a new signing at blindside. I like Dayimani, Pokomela and Xaba for the future alongside Roos! All 24 and under and already so much responsibility!

5 Orie
4 Moerat, Smith
Another problem area IMO.

2 Dweba, Ntubeni, Venter, Kotze
Exceptional depth.

3 Malherbe, Fouche, Sandi
1 ? Probably too much to ask for Brok Harris to fill in as regular. Are we seriously going to be going for Ali Vermaak as regular? Is there some obscure wunderkind I am unaware of that will be coming in or is the rumor of Kitshoff leaving only that? In any case I'd like one more quality prop and prefereably someone that feels equally comfortable either side of the rake.

Ideally I'd like some decent signatures at 1, 4, 5 and 15. Apart from that having looked at who's on our books I feel a tad more comfortable- assuming we are going to be making a few moves WRT personel. Griquas and Pumas have a few players I'd like us to loan otherwise.
 

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Kitshoff rumored to leave us for Ulster but most likely only after next season and the 2023 RWC. That'd give us time to find a decent replacement loose head and lighten the load on the budget though Kitshoff is good value as our current captain.
https://www.news24.com/sport/rugby/...-stormers-after-2023-rugby-world-cup-20220627

Kolbe in for Gelant. TBH I don't know if it'd be a good idea to pay what I'd believe to be a hefty sum for Kolbe unless we are going to play him at fullback and then again I don't know if that is ideal. Personally I'd prefer Gelant but wouldn't say no to Kolbe if that is indeed on the cards. Pertersen a decent enough current option for us at the back and Blommetjies not too far off quality-wise whilst Le Roux is a rumored option and more of a like for like player with Gelant but at 32y.. Blommetjies 31.. Nah, lets stick with Petersen who surprisingly is only 27. I'd rather invest in the locks actually or find a long term replacement for Kitsie before he leaves. Maybe lure back Henry Immelman or Dilyn Leyds or a quality utility back like Johan Goosen but only if we could manage that on a reasonable budget. Get back Edwill van der Merwe from the Lions? But again, if we can get Kolbe, no probs (assuming we don't neglect developing options at 1 and 5 specifically).
https://www.news24.com/sport/rugby/...slin-kolbe-not-willie-le-roux-report-20220627
 

saulan

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Kitshoff rumored to leave us for Ulster but most likely only after next season and the 2023 RWC. That'd give us time to find a decent replacement loose head and lighten the load on the budget though Kitshoff is good value as our current captain.
https://www.news24.com/sport/rugby/...-stormers-after-2023-rugby-world-cup-20220627

Kolbe in for Gelant. TBH I don't know if it'd be a good idea to pay what I'd believe to be a hefty sum for Kolbe unless we are going to play him at fullback and then again I don't know if that is ideal. Personally I'd prefer Gelant but wouldn't say no to Kolbe if that is indeed on the cards. Pertersen a decent enough current option for us at the back and Blommetjies not too far off quality-wise whilst Le Roux is a rumored option and more of a like for like player with Gelant but at 32y.. Blommetjies 31.. Nah, lets stick with Petersen who surprisingly is only 27. I'd rather invest in the locks actually or find a long term replacement for Kitsie before he leaves. Maybe lure back Henry Immelman or Dilyn Leyds or a quality utility back like Johan Goosen but only if we could manage that on a reasonable budget. Get back Edwill van der Merwe from the Lions? But again, if we can get Kolbe, no probs (assuming we don't neglect developing options at 1 and 5 specifically).
https://www.news24.com/sport/rugby/...slin-kolbe-not-willie-le-roux-report-20220627

Good news on Kitshoff, I thought it was going to be this year, but if it's delayed to after the World Cup that gives us some good buffer time, as you say. Potentially bringing someone through the junior ranks or someone back from overseas. Trevor maybe?

Nah, I am all for getting Kolbe back, he was our best player for ages and what he brings with him (apart from being one of the best players in the world) is a massive amount of utility. Potential to cover scrumhalf, flyhalf, wings and fullback which is ideal if we do more of the 6-2 split again. Petersen had his moments, but I felt a bit worried when he was playing during the mid-season - I think it was specifically his kick receiving game that had me concerned. At the end of the day though, we just need to get more depth in general so we can take the fatigue of more matches in a season. Looking at the SA U20 side, we do also have a decent crop coming through in the front row and across the backline, but I feel we might to expand the depth further at lock.
 

TRF_stormer2010

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Nothing new in this for a South African, but as a repentant Stormer sceptic it is nice to see a NH article on them.

Glad to hear you're coming around!
Good news on Kitshoff, I thought it was going to be this year, but if it's delayed to after the World Cup that gives us some good buffer time, as you say. Potentially bringing someone through the junior ranks or someone back from overseas. Trevor maybe?

Nah, I am all for getting Kolbe back, he was our best player for ages and what he brings with him (apart from being one of the best players in the world) is a massive amount of utility. Potential to cover scrumhalf, flyhalf, wings and fullback which is ideal if we do more of the 6-2 split again. Petersen had his moments, but I felt a bit worried when he was playing during the mid-season - I think it was specifically his kick receiving game that had me concerned. At the end of the day though, we just need to get more depth in general so we can take the fatigue of more matches in a season. Looking at the SA U20 side, we do also have a decent crop coming through in the front row and across the backline, but I feel we might to expand the depth further at lock.
I'm coming round slowly but surely on Kolbe. Still just miffed about Gelant. I see News24 says his contrct runs till 2024. Small chance of getting him back before then I suppose though we in SA frequently release players from contracts. One can only hope.

It would be interesting to see if we end up using Kolbe at 15 (assuming the rumors are not just that). Like you said he does bring utility and between him, Willemse and even a few others (Libbok and Petersen for example) we do have 15 covered. Blommetjies also in the mix. We also have a ton of high quality if only 1 world class centers. So actually 11 too 15 we would be deep and in a position to go the 6-2 split like you say.

In the halves we also have options. We know what we have in Libbok and Swiel and even if they aren't test 10's they'll do the job more often than not and then we have promising youngsters in Wolhuter and Mngomezulu. Jantjies at the end looked a lot better than at the start of the season and I rate De Wet highly. Even then Ungerer and Masimla have it in them to step up.

I'd like one more top dollar utility loosie to feel secure especially considering Deon Fourie's age though Xaba is class- I want back up for when Fourie retires.

The tight 5 is where we need to bolster. Dweba is nice but we already had 3 good if not great hookers. I like Fouche for the future but we'll need two quality props taking a long term view. Nyakane would be great but how long would he still operate and I expect he'll come with a price tag. I'm sure we'll dig up another quality tight head though- WP always does. Lock though... Moerat has started to somewhat grow on me but man, he gives away too many yellow cards. With Orie I've never gotten why he is so highly rated. TBF it was him that slapped that Ulstermans hand in those dying minutes. But that is not enough IMO. I'm not a huge Adre Smith fan either. Maybe I'm just used to better between Etzebeth, PSDT and Bekker we've had some great locks. Even guys like Elstadt had their days. I think Meihuizen has the size to become a 2nd Bekker or De Jager but I've not seen him in an age. Injured maybe? Getting in PSDT again would be great. I'm sure we *could* get him back from Japan? Unlike Kolisi and Etzebeth he is a great club man.

EDIT: so somehow I missed David Meihuizen having had to retire earlier in the year due to concussion. And at 24. Huge pity. Such a promising player and he only managed 9 games for us in 4 years.
 
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I guess I'm thinking more depth in the backs across positions is good because we have decent coverage as you say on the outside backs, but we have a great history of getting 4-5 injuries in a single position (specifically flyhalf) so anyone that can provide more depth there (where I already think we are lacking) I think provides great value.

Outside backs we should be good, strong started and decent coverage both from the current crop and up and coming youngsters playing in the U20 tournament at the moment. Generally we are strong at generating these players in the WC so not concerned here. Centers as you say, we have many here, outside of Willemse I wouldn't say any of them really are going to be in the running for Springboks, but there is some depth in there. Flyhalf is always a Stormers nightmare. We have a decent playmaker there now and two young up and coming players, but I'd like the extra cover. Scrumhalf we do have depth here, so should be ok.

On loose forwards we have got Willie Engelbrecht coming in from winning the Currie Cup with the Pumas which adds a bit more depth, hopefully Dobson can pull some magic there to get the best out of him like he has with some of the others that have come through. I don't feel like we have the same depth in loose forwards that we have had historically though. Would love to get PSDT back, hopefully either next year or the year after as he would be a great asset both in depth of loose forwards and of locks.

Locks is my area of concern, two players prone to giving out cards (Moerat and Smith), one relatively consistent but not someone who sets things alight (Orie) and then one more who I think has been relatively consistent as a reserve (Van Rhyn). But we definitely need more depth here, especially with fatigue from all the games we are going to play.

Props I don't have too many concerns given we always produce strong talent here and we do have two of the best in the world at the moment. Although I am aware that our third choice we have starts getting fairly dicey (albeit with years of experience in Vermaak). Hooker I am actually glad we have gotten Dweba, he was great last season and I think we need someone to challenge and push for that starting slot (I think he will be our starter) - especially given how poorly our lineout functioned this year.
 
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