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TRF_stormer2010

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Cheslin Kolbe confirmed as signing with the Stormers? Yay, I suppose. Must've cost us a tidy sum to get him out of his RCT contract? Play him at 15? Or are we going to see a backline of:

9 Jantjies / De Wet
10 Libbok
11 Zas
12 Pretorius / Mngomezulu
13 Nel
14 Kolbe
15 Willemse

21 De Wet / Jantjies
22 Mngomezulu / Wolhuter / Swiel?

Willemse at 15 and Kolbe at 14 would make more sense from a Springbok perspective but I wonder if I wouldn't prefer keeping Willemse at 12- he was so good there. I'm assuming here Mngomezulu would have a bit of an inside track considering he was leapfrogged into the squad end of last year with all our injuries at center. With he amount of players that could play across multiple positions we could even see:

10 Mngomezulu
12 Willemse
14 Kolbe
15 Libbok

I can't imagine Blommetjies was brought in as anything other than depth in experience and will be more featuring in a Juan de Jongh type role? IE a senior player at CC and if injury strikes can come up.
 
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Cheslin Kolbe confirmed as signing with the Stormers? Yay, I suppose. Must've cost us a tidy sum to get him out of his RCT contract? Play him at 15? Or are we going to see a backline of:

9 Jantjies / De Wet
10 Libbok
11 Zas
12 Pretorius / Mngomezulu
13 Nel
14 Kolbe
15 Willemse

21 De Wet / Jantjies
22 Mngomezulu / Wolhuter / Swiel?

Willemse at 15 and Kolbe at 14 would make more sense from a Springbok perspective but I wonder if I wouldn't prefer keeping Willemse at 12- he was so good there. I'm assuming here Mngomezulu would have a bit of an inside track considering he was leapfrogged into the squad end of last year with all our injuries at center. With he amount of players that could play across multiple positions we could even see:

10 Mngomezulu
12 Willemse
14 Kolbe
15 Libbok

I can't imagine Blommetjies was brought in as anything other than depth in experience and will be more featuring in a Juan de Jongh type role? IE a senior player at CC and if injury strikes can come up.
No other media houses have picked up on this, I cant trust it just yet, this youtuber has become a little click Baity after he showed initial promise
 

TRF_stormer2010

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R2 – Friday, September 23 / Saturday, September 24 / Sunday, September 25
DHL Stormers v Connacht

R3 – Friday, September 30 / Saturday, October 1 / Sunday, October 2
DHL Stormers v Edinburgh Rugby

R4 – Friday, October 7 / Saturday, October 8 / Sunday, October 9
Zebre Parma v DHL Stormers

R5 – Friday, October 14 / Saturday, October 15 / Sunday, October 16
Ospreys v DHL Stormers

R6 – Friday, October 21 / Saturday, October 22 / Sunday, October 23
Cardiff Rugby v DHL Stormers

R8 – Friday, November 25 / Saturday, November 26 / Sunday, November 27
DHL Stormers v Scarlets

R9 – Friday, December 2 / Saturday, December 3 / Sunday, December 4
DHL Stormers v Dragons RFC

R10 – Friday, December 23 / Saturday, December 24 / Monday, December 26
DHL Stormers v Vodacom Bulls

R11 – Friday, December 30 / Saturday, December 31 / Sunday, January 1
DHL Stormers v Emirates Lions

R12 – Friday, January 6 / Saturday, January 7 / Sunday, January 8
Glasgow Warriors v DHL Stormers

R13 – Friday, January 27 / Saturday, January 28 / Sunday, January 29
Ulster v DHL Stormers

R1 - Friday, September 16 / Saturday, September 17 / Sunday, September 18
Cell C Sharks v DHL Stormers **Feb 3/4

R7 – Friday, October 28 / Saturday, October 29 / Sunday, October 30
Emirates Lions v DHL Stormers **Feb 10/11

R14 – Friday, February 17 / Saturday, February 18 / Sunday, February 19
Vodacom Bulls v DHL Stormers

R15 – Friday, March 3 / Saturday, March 4 / Sunday, March 5
DHL Stormers v Cell C Sharks

R16 – Friday, March 24 / Saturday, March 25 / Sunday, March 26
Leinster v DHL Stormers

R17 – Friday, April 14 / Saturday, April 15 / Sunday, April 16
DHL Stormers v Munster

R18 – Friday, April 21 / Saturday, April 22 / Sunday, April 23
DHL Stormers v Benetton


So that's the draw. Seems fair enough apart from the R16 trip to Leinster as a stand-alone which looks odd. I can certainly see us send the Currie Cup side even if it weren't Leinster seeing as we have all of the Bulls, Sharks and Munster either side of that trip.

Pity the SA sides play staggered again so we'll again see lopsided logs until late on though I expect for us it'd be a fair enough reflection as it seems our series will be more or less end loaded to a an extent in that I expect we'll probably drop a few games between Leinser, Munster and the oter two bigger SA sides while Ulster and Glasgow away fro home will also be big asks. So we really need to take advantage and rack up the log points early to build up some fat. I can fully see us being log leaders going into Round 10 given the fixtures. We'll probably have to top the log at that stage if we expect to make the play-offs again mind you. Round 12 onwards there are no "easy" games left.
 
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saulan

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Pity the SA sides play staggered again so we'll again see lopsided logs until late on though I expect for us it'd be a fair enough reflection as it seems our series will be more or less end loaded to a an extent in that I expect we'll probably drop a few games between Leinser, Munster and the oter two bigger SA sides while Ulster and Glasgow away fro home will also be big asks. So we really need to take advantage and rack up the log points early to build up some fat. I can fully see us being log leaders going into Round 10 given the fixtures. We'll probably have to top the log at that stage if we expect to make the play-offs again mind you. Round 12 onwards there are no "easy" games left.

Think it feels a bit like a better draw for us this time than last. Allows us to get momentum/in the swing of things before some of the more intense games, but it does depend on whether Wales improves which would make the start harder (seems unlikely). Similarly I think the players gelled a lot more having played a year consistently with each other so hopefully none of the slow out the blocks we saw last year.

I think there could be some easier games at the tailend. Lions look a bit torn apart and Benetton at home should be seen as an easier game to end off on, but otherwise, yea that's a tough run-in.
 

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Yes, you're going to face stern opposition as often as not in this tournament. If you asked me whether they want it spread, or bundled at one of the halves, I'd probably have opted for a tougher run in than anything else. If only because I feel depth is our biggest concern and this gives you the opportunity to perhaps not go all in on your known XV every game and expose a new face here and there at the start half of the thing. So, I suppose apart from the one off Rd 16 its about as good a draw as one can reasonably expect. We'll see how it pans out. I still feel we overachieved last year. I'd be happy enough ending top 8- thinking we should aim for higher of course. My belief is we are a #7 team but with a bit of luck at the end you never know, we might fluke the thing a 2nd time.
 

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So our first game is a month away from the weekend and we'll be without our Bokke and I expect we aren't going to see any new signings announced in this short period.

That leaves us with a playing squad of

Utility Backs
Damian Willemse (unavailable- Bokke)
Sacha Mngomezulu - who will have to feature for us this season and I suspect the Dobbo is hedging his bets on this lad

Outside Backs
Tristan Leyds
Clayton Blommetjies
Leolin Zas
Seabelo Senatla
Angelo Davids
Rosco Specman

A distinct lack of fullbacks so I expect we might see Willemse take his Springbok role over to us though I like him more as a 12. Might we see Libbok, Mngomezulu or Wolhuter play at 15 though.. I'd prefer that over Blommetjies or T Leyds. Such a pity about both Gelant and Petersen leaving at the same time.

Centers
Ruhan Nel
Juan de Jongh (retired?)
Dan du Plessis
Cornel Smit
Lyle Hendricks

Question marks over where Willemse and Mngomezulu will slot in. Would've liked to see Rikus Pretorius continue with us for the sake of depth but he got prescious little game time so I understand his decision to make a buck in Japan.

Flyhalves
Manie Libbok
Kade Wolhuter
Chris Schreuder

Good that we have some depth here despite Swiel leaving as I would want Willemse and Mngomezulu to cover 12 rather. I hope Wolhuter gets some time and I hope he has recovered some form after that long injury lay off. Wouldn't be opposed to Mngomezulu getting some exposure at 10 for us as well. Good thing is we will not be as hard hit by Bok duty as other SA sides- would've liked to face the Sharks during the early stages for that reason LOL.

Scrumhalves
Herschell Jantjies (unavailable- Bokke)
Paul de Wet
Godlin Masimla



Loose forwards
Evan Roos
Deon Fourie (unaviable- Bokke)
Hacjivah Dayimani
Nama Xaba
Willie Engelbrecht
Junior Pokomela
Keke Morabe


Locks
Salmaan Moerat (unavailable- Bokke)
Marvin Orie (unavailable- Bokke)
Adre Smith
Ernst van Rhyn
Marcel Theunissen
Gary Porter

I'm assuming we'll see Van Rhyn and Theunissen see game at lock if any looking at how low our lock stocks are with Meihuizen retiring early and our two starters travelling with the test side.

Hooker
Scarra Ntubeni
Joseph Dweba (unaviable- Bokke)
AH Venter
JJ Kotze
Chad Solomon

Healthy depth here even if no-one will push for being world class all 4 are more than capable of a MotM performance at URC level.

Prop
Steven Kitshoff (unaviable- Bokke)
Frans Malherbe (unaviable- Bokke)
Brok Harris
Neethling Fouche
Ali Vermaak
Leon Lyons
Sazi Sandi
Kwenzo Blose
LM Mazibuko

Eh. Nothing to write home about without our starters but even them are a tad wasted at this level other than when we face the top dogs. I like Fouche but am not convinced about the others. Would've been a real coup if we could've snapped up Carlu Sadie but even then we'd have 3 great tight-heads whereas we need a long term replacement for Kitshoff.


My prefered team for round 1 of the URC would be:

15 Blommetjies, 14 Senatla, 13 Nel, 12 Mngomezulu, 11 Zas, 10 Libbok, 9 De Wet, 8 Roos, 7 Dayimani, 6 Xaba, 5 Smith, Van Rhyn, 3 Fouche, 2 Ntubeni, 1 Harris
16 Venter, 17 Sandi, 18 Vermaak, 19 Theunissen, 20 Engelbrecht 21 Msaimla, 22 Wolhuter, 23 Du Plessis

Not bad but not inspiring TBH. We'll get some boost when our Bokke return but IMO its only really Willemse that I think we'll miss hugely. There was talk about Kolbe or Willie le Roux joining us. I wouldn't mind either with Gelant AWL.
 

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So there was truth to the rumors of talks with Kolbe. TBH for that type of money I am sure we can get Gelant back.

Wouldn't Willie Le Roux be a better fit? I read somewhere that he is building a house in the Cape Town Area.
 

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Wouldn't Willie Le Roux be a better fit? I read somewhere that he is building a house in the Cape Town Area.
Le Roux would certainly be a more like-for-like replacement for Gelant.

I would be over the moon should le Roux join the Stormers even though I'd hope we can get Gelant back ASAP considerng Le Roux is 33 and Gelant 27.

Whether we get a world class 15 or not I think its a good thing for the Stormers long term that our biggest salary on the books is not on the wing where we have decent quality and decent depth where I don't expect the lot of them combined would be close to what we'd have payed for Kolbe.

I am sure Willemse would be able to do a sterling job at 15 but I'd rather keep him at 12 for us. Rikus Pretorius leaving and looking to establish himself elsewhere is a decent indicator that our backroom feels the same way. That as well as all the rumors involving big-name outside backs on top of already getting in Blommetjies as a stop-gap or direct replacement for Petersen.
 
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Stormers XV:

15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Tristan Leyds, 13 Mnombo Zwelendaba, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Suleiman Hartzenberg, 10 Kade Wolhuter, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Marcel Theunissen, 7 Willie Engelbrecht, 6 Junior Pokomela (captain), 5 Adre Smith, 4 Ben-Jason Dixon, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Chad Solomon, 1 Kwenzo Blose

Substitutes: 16 Liam Larkan, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 19 Neethling Fouche, 20 Connor Evans, 21 Ernst van Rhyn, 22 Godlen Masimla, 23 Chris Hollis, 24 Dan du Plessis, 25 Ruhan Nel, 26 Seabelo Senatla

First Stormers team of the season to tackle the SWD Eagles. Admittedly a proper B side but good to see nonetheless. Hoping Wolhuter can get back to pre injury form and promise.
 

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So the Stormers beat SWD Eagles 93-7 which is convincing. One would say almost expected or rather one would be worried if we had anything but a convincing win (93- 7 is impressive though even if the Eagles aren't a CC premiership side). That said with putting out B teams and opposition looking to spoil I've seen runaway underdogs make a game of it before so happy with the result in its context.

Tomorrow, a friendly with the Sharks. Should be more telling. Both sides will be largely B teams. Will see if the game is televised.

Stormers XV for friendly v Sharks XV:

15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Tristan Leyds, 13 Suleiman Hartzenberg, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Chris Hollis, 10 Kade Wolhuter, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Ernst van Rhyn (captain), 6 Junior Pokomela, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Connor Evans, 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Andre-Hugo Venter, 1 Ali Vermaak

Substitutes (from): 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Sazi Sandi, 19 Gary Porter, 20 Paul de Villiers, 21 Louwan Horn, 22 Marcel Theunissen, 23 Imad Khan, 24 Seabelo Senatla, 25 Mnombo Zwelendaba, 26 Godlen Masimla
 

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Nice in-depth report on the availibility of returning Stormers players. Looks like we should have some returnees between this week and next. I would be very surprised if we threw all of them in right after having completed the RC.

Zas being fit is good, particularly in light of Senatla looking likely to be ruled out for months.
 

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good news about the 5 year extension for Willemse :)

are the SA teams able to pay players more now that they are in the URC?..... exciting if so
 

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good news about the 5 year extension for Willemse :)

are the SA teams able to pay players more now that they are in the URC?..... exciting if so
That is amazing news! Now to lure Gelant back. You must jump ship and support the Stormers!

I don't know anything official regarding funding but all indications are certainly that there is more money floating around.
- apart from the Lions the other SA sides have lost little and got in some big names.
- Sharks obviously ahead of the pack in that regards but they got some money in from Roc Nation so no surprises there. Wonder what the long terms implications will be.
- Stormers obviously couldn't match Kolbe's deal at Toulon BUT the reported ~R11 mil you can't imagine being a number the Stormers would've been bandying about 2 or 3 years ago.

What I am more excited about than getting in big names is the possibility of retaining our up and comers. SA sides have been hamstrung by huge squad rotations and not being able to build any sort of consistency for way too long.
 

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What I am more excited about than getting in big names is the possibility of retaining our up and comers. SA sides have been hamstrung by huge squad rotations and not being able to build any sort of consistency for way too long.

Fully agreed on this point. When our players were becoming well established in our teams, we were ending up seeing them jumping ship (completely understandably) to earn some additional retirement funds. It would be great if we could continue to retain the likes of Willemse, Roos, and the up and coming players, rather than losing them to Europe after getting to their peak abilities. We might need that anyway given we are now competing on multiple fronts.

On a completely unrelated side-point, man I'm a bit disappointed in the material quality of our jerseys. I just ordered the new kit after deciding I needed an upgrade from the 2012 version and man the difference in quality is notable. I don't mind that the sponsor is printed on, but no embroidery for the badge or sponsor and the material just feeling a bit more basic/cheaper than the old version. Potentially its down to our kit sponsor difference (BLK vs Adidas).
 

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That is amazing news! Now to lure Gelant back. You must jump ship and support the Stormers!

I don't know anything official regarding funding but all indications are certainly that there is more money floating around.
- apart from the Lions the other SA sides have lost little and got in some big names.
- Sharks obviously ahead of the pack in that regards but they got some money in from Roc Nation so no surprises there. Wonder what the long terms implications will be.
- Stormers obviously couldn't match Kolbe's deal at Toulon BUT the reported ~R11 mil you can't imagine being a number the Stormers would've been bandying about 2 or 3 years ago.

What I am more excited about than getting in big names is the possibility of retaining our up and comers. SA sides have been hamstrung by huge squad rotations and not being able to build any sort of consistency for way too long.
I always watched the stormers and glasgow when I could but now that they're in the same league it gets a bit confusing o_O

I noticed the crowds dwindling in Super rugby over the years, I wondered if it was a mixture of Super rugby losing its appeal and the SA teams constantly losing their best players.

Hopefully we are seeing a reversal of that now, having an all SA final last season certainly seemed to bring some of the buzz back
 

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I noticed the crowds dwindling in Super rugby over the years, I wondered if it was a mixture of Super rugby losing its appeal and the SA teams constantly losing their best players.

Hopefully we are seeing a reversal of that now, having an all SA final last season certainly seemed to bring some of the buzz back
I'm intrigued to see the attendance tomorrow. I know maybe those in the Southern Suburbs might not have seen it as worth it to travel out to Stellies for the game, but in general it just didn't seem super packed. I'm hoping there is a decently sized crowd out for the game tomorrow at least.
 

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I'm intrigued to see the attendance tomorrow. I know maybe those in the Southern Suburbs might not have seen it as worth it to travel out to Stellies for the game, but in general it just didn't seem super packed. I'm hoping there is a decently sized crowd out for the game tomorrow at least.
I thought the same when I seen the highlights and the Bulls game looked empty. Do you think most supporters had their eye on the Boks game instead and planned around that?
 

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There's a lot of reasons for poor attendance last week. This week the only thing I imagine that might keep it low is the fact that the school holidays just started. I'm off to Kgalagadi tomorrow for instance. That said, the holidays and decent kick off time might just be the reason others might attend. It also doesn't clash with other 'must see' fixtures.
 

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