The Stormers The official website for the DHL Stormers Mon, 02 May 2016 15:39:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 DHL Stormers injury report – May 2 Mon, 02 May 2016 15:39:46 +0000 There were no new injury concerns for the DHL Stormers heading into the bye week following their clash with the Waratahs at DHL Newlands.

On the long-term injury list there are a number of players that have made good progress, with the likes of Wilco Louw, Jaco Taute, Jano Vermaak and Robert du Preez expected to be available for selection following the June international break.

Eben Etzebeth is in the final stages of his rehabilitation from a calf injury, and may travel with the team to face the Sunwolves in Singapore on May 14 depending on his progress this week.

Taute will return to training for the first time this week since picking up an ankle injury in pre-season, while scrumhalf Vermaak (neck injury) and flyhalf du Preez (knee injury) should be back on the training pitch next month.

Lock Jean Kleyn who injured his arm is also expected to return to full fitness before the end of the Vodacom Super Rugby season.

DHL Stormers to bid Groom farewell Mon, 02 May 2016 15:28:00 +0000 DHL Stormers stalwart Nic Groom will be leaving at the end of the season to join English Premiership side the Northampton Saints.

The scrumhalf recently brought up his half-century of Vodacom Super Rugby caps for the DHL Stormers in their victory against the Reds at DHL Newlands.

The 26-year-old double Currie Cup winner, who has also played in 59 Currie Cup matches for DHL Western Province, has spent his entire professional career at DHL Newlands having come through the Western Province Rugby Institute.

Groom said that while it will be tough to leave, he is looking forward to the challenge that awaits him in the East Midlands.

“Leaving Cape Town and the DHL Stormers is going to be tough and a big change, but I’m looking forward to embracing new experiences both on and off the field. I have many happy memories playing in Cape Town; it’s where it all started for me.

“I’ve been here my whole career and I’m so thankful for everyone who has played a role in my journey so far. The coaches, players as well as the passionate fans will always have a special place in my heart.”

“I’m extremely excited to be joining up with Northampton next season,” Groom said. “It’s a top club with a proud history and personally it’s a big honour to sign with them. I’m hoping to continue growing as a player and as a person and to contribute to what will hopefully be a very successful period at the club.”

DHL Stormers Director of Rugby Gert Smal said that the scrumhalf still has a big role to play for the DHL Stormers before he leaves.

“In consultation with DHL Stormers coach Robbie Fleck and DHL Western Province coach John Dobson, we decided to give Nic the opportunity to play for Northampton, but he still has a big role to play in the rest of our Vodacom Super Rugby campaign.

“We would like to wish Nic all the best for his future, he has been a stalwart at DHL Newlands and we appreciate the contribution he has made here both on and off the field.

“We will keep a close eye on the scrumhalves we have in the system, and if necessary we will look at recruiting another scrumhalf,” he said.

Zas suspended for two weeks Mon, 02 May 2016 14:05:02 +0000 SANZAAR Duty Judicial Officer Nigel Hampton has accepted a guilty plea from DHL Stormers wing Leolin Zas after he was Red Carded against the Waratahs at DHL Newlands.

Zas made contact with Waratahs flyhalf Bernard Foley who was in the air attempting to catch a ball and was ruled to have contravened Law 10.4 (i) Tackling, tapping, pushing or pulling an Opponent jumping for the ball in a lineout or in open play.

Zas has been suspended from all forms of the game for two weeks up to and including Saturday 14 May 2016.

SANZAAR Duty Judicial Officer Nigel Hampton QC assessed the case. In his finding, Hampton ruled the following:

“Leolin Zas (the player) and his representatives appeared before me and admitted a breach of the Law 10.4(I) charge.

“I found it was a lower end offence on the basis that the video footage showed the Player’s right foot slipping as he was readying to compete for the ball in the air. This resulted in him moving on through and under the opposing player, causing that player to fall dangerously to the ground. Fortunately the opposing player was uninjured. The low end entry point for the sanction was a three week suspension.

“There were no aggravating factors.

“As to mitigation, I took into account the Player’s youth and his early guilty plea, as well as his already expressed apology and his contrition. I allowed a reduction of one week, making a suspension from all rugby of two weeks, up to and including Saturday 14 May 2016.

“The Stormers have a bye next weekend. I was provided written evidence that the Player would have been chosen to play for Western Province in a Currie Cup match against the Sharks that forthcoming weekend. So that match should be, and is, taken into account as a match which he will be unable to play in. In addition, he will be ineligible to play in the Super Rugby match against the Sunwolves on the 14 May 2016.”

SWD back in DHL Stormers fold Mon, 02 May 2016 13:34:12 +0000 The Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) has welcomed South Western Districts back into the DHL Stormers fold.

South Western Districts formed part of the original DHL Stormers franchise which was formed in 1998, and after a 10 year absence the union has once again been made official partners in the DHL Stormers franchise.

This partnership will see the two unions working closely together to take the DHL Stormers franchise forward by assisting each other in player development, exchanging coaching and player resources, forging a relationship between the clubs and schools of the WPRFU and SWD Eagles Rugby and using the DHL Stormers brand to promote and grow the game of rugby in the South Western Districts.

President of the WPRFU Mr Thelo Wakefield said that he is looking forward to working with South Western Districts to build the DHL Stormers brand further.

“I would like to welcome South Western Districts back into the DHL Stormers fold, it will be great to work closely with them once again for our mutual benefit,” he said.

South Western Districts President Mr Hennie Baartman said that the partnership is an exciting development for rugby in the area.

“We are very happy to be back with the DHL Stormers, and we are looking forward to working with the Western Province Rugby Football Union once again,” he said.

Fleck proud of DHL Stormers’ spirit Sun, 01 May 2016 17:07:00 +0000 While disappointed with their 32-30 loss to the Waratahs, DHL Stormers Head Coach took encouragement from the character his team showed under pressure.

After being reduced to 14 men for the last 20 minutes of the match when wing Leolin Zas was shown a red card, the DHL Stormers showed great fighting spirit to put themselves in a winning position, only to be left disappointed when a late try from Waratahs captain Michael Hooper snatched the victory from their grasp.

Despite his disappointment with the defeat, Fleck said that the fighting spirit his side showed under great pressure was something to be proud of.

“We are all gutted and disappointed, but the character and fight that we showed and the ability to score a try like that with only 14 men shows that we are on the right track.

“We are working towards something special and we are going to keep working hard for that.

“I’m just really proud with the way the guys fought hard for those 20 minutes and still be in a position with three minute to go to win it. I am proud of the character of the team. I am proud of the way we are playing rugby at the moment,” he said.

The DHL Stormers coach said that his team played some of their best rugby of the season in the first half, although there were some costly defensive lapses.

“It was a dominant performance in that first half and I would like to think we played well enough in that second half to win it.

“The team rallied together and played some very good rugby and we would have liked to have a few more points in that first half, but it was not to be and they are a good side and they showed their quality when they came back with those two tries.

“Two soft moments on defence [in the first half] let them back in, which obviously got their tails up,” he added.

Gutsy DHL Stormers go down fighting Sat, 30 Apr 2016 19:04:49 +0000 A 14-man DHL Stormers showed great fighting spirit, but were unable to prevent the Waratahs claiming a tense 32-30 victory at DHL Newlands on Saturday.

The home side looked to have done enough to secure victory, but a late try from Michael Hooper saw the visitors take the honours in a hard-fought battle.

It was just their third defeat of the season, but the bonus point they earned sees them keep their place at the top of Africa conference 1.

The DHL Stormers took the game to the Waratahs early on and won two penalties in opposition territory, but both attempts on goal from flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis were wide of the mark.

Instead it was the Waratahs who opened the scoring, as centre Kurtley Beale darted through to score the first try, which went unconverted for a 5-0 lead.

However, the DHL Stormers did not trail for long as a great flip pass from Nic Groom saw Schalk Burger score under the poles to put them 7-5 up.

The DHL Stormers’ second try was sparked by a break from Pieter-Steph du Toit who surged into the Waratahs 22, and the big lock was on hand to finish it off as well as he crashed over from close range shortly afterwards.

The visitors had the final say before half-time, as an Israel Folau try saw them trail the DHL Stormers 14-12 at the break.

The hosts were first to score in the second half through a Du Plessis penalty, and the Waratahs responded soon afterwards with a penalty of their own from Foley.

The flyhalves exchanged penalties once again before the DHL Stormers were struck a major blow when wing Leolin Zas was shown a red card for colliding with another player in the air.

Despite that setback, the DHL Stormers were next to score through another Du Plessis penalty, but the Waratahs would have the lead soon afterwards as wing Rob Horne crossed for their third try to put them 25-23 ahead.

However, the DHL Stormers refused to lie down and after a powerful maul had driven them into the opposition 22, Du Toit took matters into his own hands and powered over for a try between the poles.

The Waratahs would have the final say when skipper Michael Hooper forced his way over for a try at the death which saw them claim a slender victory.

The scorers:

For DHL Stormers:
Tries: Burger, Du Toit 2
Cons: Du Plessis 3
Pens: Du Plessis 3

For Waratahs:
Tries: Beale, Folau, Horne, Hooper
Cons: Foley 4
Pen: Foley


DHL Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Juan de Jongh (co-captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Rynhardt Elstadt, 3 Frans Malherbe (co-captain), 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Siyamthanda Kolisi, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Brandon Thomson, 23 Huw Jones.

Waratahs: 15 Andrew Kellaway, 14 Reece Robinson, 13 Israel Folau, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Jed Holloway, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Dean Mumm, 5 Will Skelton, 4 David Dennis, 3 Tom Robertson, 2 Hugh Roach, 1 Paddy Ryan.
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Sam Lousi, 20 Wycliff Palu, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 David Horwitz, 23 Matt Carraro.

Referee: Mike Fraser

DHL Stormers on the right path Fri, 29 Apr 2016 09:53:12 +0000 DHL Stormers coach Robbie Fleck wants to see his team make further progress down the path they have chosen to walk this season.

With six wins from their eight Vodacom Super Rugby games this season, the DHL Stormers have managed to create a winning culture while making some key changes to their approach.

Since taking over at the start of the year, Fleck has tried to encourage his players to build on their traditional strengths while adding more of a ruthless edge on attack.

While there have been some disappointing moments, Fleck is pleased with the progress his side has made so far this season, and would like to see them continue to evolve as the season progresses.

“I’m happy with our progress thus far. There have been glimpses of the fearless rugby we’re trying to adopt, but there have been moments where we’ve let ourselves down. However, there are signs of progression along the path we’ve chosen.

“We’ve got some way to go in terms of the campaign and our own growth, but we’re a team playing a brand of rugby that we set out to play. Having said that, we’re certainly not the finished product yet,” said Fleck.

The next challenge for Fleck’s charges is the clash with the Waratahs at DHL Newlands on Saturday, and the DHL Stormers coach knows that they will have to be on top of their game if they are to repeat their convincing victory against the same opponents in Sydney last year.

“The Waratahs are a team that have found a bit of form recently. They had a slow start to their campaign, but they always had quality coaching and quality players and it was just a matter of time before they find their feet again.

“They found a bit of rhythm again against the Force. They got big, physical players and they got a lot of Test players in that side, which is mixed with some youngsters.

“Physically it’s going to be a big challenge for us.”

“I think the Waratahs still have a culture of wanting to keep the ball in hand, they have some good runners out wide and some big forwards. They base their game on momentum, and so we will need to be very good defensively once again. But we are looking to play a bit more with ball in hand and we do need to take the opportunities when they arise,” he added.

Double bill at DHL Newlands Fri, 29 Apr 2016 08:38:07 +0000 Both DHL Western Province and the DHL Stormers will be in action at DHL Newlands on Saturday, so make sure you catch both games live.

DHL Western Province will be aiming for their third consecutive victory of their campaign when they take on the Xerox Golden Lions XV at 16h15.

That will be followed by the Vodacom Super Rugby clash between the DHL Stormers and the Waratahs at 19h15 as the DHL Stormers go in search of their seventh win this season.

Make sure you get your tickets early to avoid disappointment, and get down to DHL Newlands early so that you do not miss a minute of the action.

After consultation with City of Cape Town Health Officials and in line with the relevant tobacco legislation, no smoking of any kind will be allowed in the stadium which has been declared a non-smoking facility.

Previously the stadium featured four designated smoking areas in the corners of the ground, with smoking in the stands prohibited, but this is no longer allowed and all forms of smoking (including e-cigarettes) in any part of the stadium now in contravention of the stadium rules.

For this match, NO alcohol may be removed from the bars and consumed on the stands, given liquor licensing restrictions.

Tickets for the game are available from Computicket, the website and the stadium box office, and supporters are encouraged to book early to avoid being disappointed or having to stand in long queues.

Parking is available at schools in the stadium vicinity at Groote Schuur Primary School (R50), Sans Souci Girls’ High School (R50) and Westerford (R50).

To read the stadium rules CLICK HERE

To read some Frequently Asked Questions CLICK HERE

Co-captains back for DHL Stormers Thu, 28 Apr 2016 10:47:25 +0000 DHL Stormers co-captains Juan de Jongh and Frans Malherbe both return for the Vodacom Super Rugby match against the Waratahs at DHL Newlands on Saturday.

De Jongh takes his place at outside centre after missing the 40-22 victory over the Reds last week with concussion, and will partner Damian de Allende in midfield, while Malherbe returns at tighthead prop after being ruled out last week due to illness.

The only other changes to the starting line-up are rotational switches to the forward pack as Schalk Burger takes his place at No.8 with Nizaam Carr shifting to the flank and Siya Kolisi moving to the replacements bench, whilst in the front row JC Janse van Rensburg starts at loosehead prop.

DHL Stormers Head Coach Robbie Fleck said that his team are intent on raising the bar once again at DHL Newlands.

“We are determined to keep on progressing along the path we have embarked on this season, and the Waratahs will provide another serious challenge this weekend.

“The team has really bought into what we are trying to do, and I am excited to see what they can produce in front of our faithful fans on Saturday,” he said.

DHL Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Juan de Jongh (co-captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Rynhardt Elstadt, 3 Frans Malherbe (co-captain), 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Brandon Thomson, 23 Huw Jones.

Referee: Mike Fraser

Elstadt back with a bang Wed, 27 Apr 2016 11:57:25 +0000 Having recovered from an early-season injury, Rynhardt Elstadt is relishing the opportunity to make his presence felt for the DHL Stormers.

The hard-working utility forward first made his name at lock for the DHL Stormers back in 2011, and since returning from a groin injury sustained in a pre-season match against the Jaguares he has returned in that role in 2016.

The DHL Stormers enforcer is hopeful that his injury woes are firmly behind him so that he can focus on producing results on the pitch.

“I hope it’s the end of the injuries. But rugby is that type of game – you don’t ask for injuries, they just come like a thief in the night. But hopefully I can finish the season injury-free,” he said.

Both Elstadt and cenntre Damian de Allende made their comebacks from injury at the same time, and the DHL Stormers enforcer is grateful for the way they were phased back in by the coaching staff.

“It’s been really good to be back on the field. I think they (the coaches) have eased Damian (de Allende) and I very well into the starting lineup, to come back and get confidence.

“After the weekend’s first starts for both of us, I felt really strong, but not really where I want to be. But every week I will progress, and hopefully from there we can take it further,” he added.

Now in his sixth Vodacom Super Rugby season with the DHL Stormers, Elstadt is excited about the direction the team is headed this year.

“I have been in many campaigns, a few semifinals where we haven’t been able to pull it through. The difference is that we have a very young team.

“They are playing the type of rugby that is fearless, they just want to get the ball and run with it! There is a lot of excitement in the group, and they are helping each other. The one player is just trying to make the other one become a better player.

“So for me it’s quite a nice challenge, playing with youngsters coming through who want to actually play and make things happen, creating something out of nothing,” he added.