The Stormers http://thestormers.com The official website for the DHL Stormers Mon, 29 Jun 2015 08:17:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Bok call-ups for DHL Stormers trio http://thestormers.com/bok-call-ups-for-dhl-stormers-trio/ http://thestormers.com/bok-call-ups-for-dhl-stormers-trio/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 14:02:05 +0000 http://thestormers.com/?p=9308 In addition to the 36 squad members, the national selectors have identified 13 players who are currently injured or will be in rehabilitation, but will form part of an extended squad for the matches against the World XV, Castle Lager Rugby Championship and the Test against Argentina in Buenos Aires.

***CLICK HERE FOR WORLD XV TICKETS!***

The uncapped players in the squad is the DHL Stormers front row trio of hooker Scarra Ntubeni and props Steven Kitshoff and Vincent Koch, along with Rudy Paige, Faf de Klerk, Jesse Kriel, Franco Mostert and Lionel Mapoe.

In all, there are ten DHL Stormers in the squad -including national skipper Jean de Villiers, who did not feature for the DHL Stormers in 2015 due to injury, and No.8 Duane Vermeulen who missed the business-end of Super Rugby with a neck injury.

Back in the Springbok fold after not featuring in any Springbok Tests last year, are Elton Jantjies, Frans Steyn, Jaque Fourie, Heinrich Brüssow, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Heinke van der Merwe.

The currently injured players included in the squad are Jean de Villiers, Mapoe, Brüssow, Du Toit, Steyn, Coenie Oosthuizen, Lood de Jager, Duane Vermeulen, Cobus Reinach, Pat Lambie, Jaque Fourie, Jan Serfontein and Fourie du Preez. The latter suffered a knee injury while training with his Japanese club earlier this week.

“It’s a long list of injured players but all of them are in the selection frame and we’d like to work with them to assist with their rehabilitation,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

“Some of them are close to full fitness and they will start training as soon as possible. We’ll assess and manage all the injured players individually with their return to play in mind and will do what is the best for the player and the team, even if it means that some of them play for their clubs or provinces if deemed necessary by our medical team and in consultation with their unions.

“Coenie Oosthuizen has been selected, but he has a neck injury which will rule him out of joining the squad immediately. We will wait for medical clarity to ensure we do what is best for Coenie before a decision is made on the way forward.

“Even though Jaque Fourie announced that he had retired from Test rugby late last year, we have had positive talks with him and his club, Kobe in Japan, and an agreement was reached that he will be available for one last season of Test rugby. As soon as he’s back to full fitness, we’ll consider him for selection.

“Jean de Villiers’s rehabilitation is going very well but his return to play will be strictly monitored before an announcement in this regard is made.”

Ntubeni (hooker), Paige (scrumhalf) and Mapoe (outside back) have been part of Springbok tour squads before, but this will be the first involvement at international level for De Klerk (scrumhalf), as well as Mostert (lock), Kitshoff and Koch (both props).

Meyer added that Vodacom Super Rugby form weighed heavily and as always there were a number of players who were desperately close to selection, but just missed out in the end.

“This is testament to the great depth we’ve managed to build in most positions over the last few years. It’s good to know we have players outside this squad who will be able to slot in should it be necessary,” said the Springbok coach.

“Scarra has been with us before and he has done a great job specifically in the scrums with Vincent, Steven and Frans Malherbe for the DHL Stormers this year.

“Lionel, Franco, Faf and Elton have been part of the ever-improving Emirates Lions, while Rudy and Jesse grabbed their opportunities for the Vodacom Bulls this season.

Meyer added that he was pleased to have Van der Merwe, Du Toit, Brüssow, Steyn and Fourie back with the Springboks.

“They are players with international experience and we know what they can do. It will be great to welcome them back into the Springbok fold and I know they will add value,” said the Springbok coach.

“It was great to see players such as Morné, Heinke, Bryan, Schalk Brits and Francois play in and win finals with their clubs in Europe.”

“We also talked to Andries Bekker as we wanted to consider him for selection, but upon a request from his club in Japan he was ultimately not picked for the squad at this stage. Hopefully he will be available at a later stage during the season.

“Flip van der Merwe was on our radar but ultimately he has decided to rule himself out of Springbok contention.”

Meyer said that he didn’t want to go into the 2015 Test season without exploring all options available to the Springboks.

“We will be guided by our medical team and specialists to ensure no stone is left unturned as we manage the injured players’ return to play. The players who have been included in the squad because of injuries to others must use this opportunity to break down the door to ensure they remain part of the squad as we look forward to the World Cup.

“As certain players regain fitness, others will be sent back to their provinces, but that doesn’t mean they are out of our thinking completely as the door to World Cup selection will never be fully closed. We talked to every player we thought could add value and considered every option available to us.

“The next five matches, before we finalise the squad for the Rugby World Cup, will be very important as we want to ensure the right 31 players are on the plane to England on September 11.

“We have done a lot of planning and research and are well-prepared for the season. We’ll use the matches against the World XV, Australia, New Zealand and Argentina to fine tune where necessary, but the next two months also provide the players with an opportunity to put themselves in contention to make the World Cup squad.”

THE SPRINGBOK SQUAD IS (IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER):

Willem Alberts – Cell C Sharks – Loose forward, 32 caps
Schalk Brits – Saracens (England) – Hooker, 7
Schalk Burger – DHL Stormers/Suntory (Japan) – Loose forward, 75
Marcell Coetzee – Cell C Sharks – Loose forward, 26
Damian de Allende – DHL Stormers – Centre, 3
Faf de Klerk Emirates – Lions/Steval Pumas – Scrumhalf, 0
Bismarck du Plessis – Cell C Sharks – Hooker, 70
Jannie du Plessis – Cell C Sharks – Prop, 62
Eben Etzebeth – DHL Stormers – Lock, 33
Elton Jantjies – Emirates Lions – Flyhalf, 2
Bryan Habana – Toulon (France) – Wing, 106
Cornal Hendricks – Toyota Cheetahs – Wing, 11
Zane Kirchner – Leinster (Ireland) – Wing/Fullback, 29
Steven Kitshoff – DHL Stormers – Prop, 0
Vincent Koch – DHL Stormers/Steval Pumas – Prop, 0
Siya Kolisi – DHL Stormers – Loose forward, 10
Jesse Kriel – Vodacom Bulls – Fullback, 0
Willie le Roux – Toyota Cheetahs – Fullback/Wing, 25
Francois Louw – Bath (England) – Loose forward, 34
Frans Malherbe – DHL Stormers – Prop, 4
Victor Matfield – Vodacom Bulls – Lock, 121
Teboho ‘Oupa’ Mohoje – Toyota Cheetahs – Loose forward, 7
Franco Mostert – Emirates Lions – Lock, 0
Tendai Mtawarira – Cell C Sharks – Prop, 64
Lwazi Mvovo – Cell C Sharks – Wing, 10
Scarra Ntubeni – DHL Stormers – Hooker, 0
Trevor Nyakane – Vodacom Bulls – Prop, 13
Rudy Paige – Vodacom Bulls – Scrumhalf, 0
Ruan Pienaar – Ulster (N Ireland) – Scrumhalf, 80
JP Pietersen – Cell C Sharks – Centre/Wing, 59
Handré Pollard – Vodacom Bulls – Flyhalf, 9
Morné Steyn – Stade Français (France) – Flyhalf, 59
Adriaan Strauss – Vodacom Bulls – Hooker, 44
Heinke van der Merwe – Stade Français (France) – Prop, 4
Marcel van der Merwe – Vodacom Bulls – Prop, 4
Warren Whiteley – Emirates Lions – Loose forward, 2

Injured/conditioning squad:
Heinrich Brüssow – Toyota Cheetahs/Docomo (Japan) – Loose forward, 20 caps
Lood de Jager – Toyota Cheetahs – Lock, 9
Jean de Villiers – DHL Stormers – Centre, 106
Fourie du Preez – Suntory (Japan) – Scrumhalf, 70
Pieter-Steph du Toit – Cell C Sharks – Lock, 2
Jaque Fourie – Kobe (Japan) – Centre, 72
Patrick Lambie – Cell C Sharks – Flyhalf / Fullback, 40
Lionel Mapoe – Emirates Lions – Centre, 0
Coenie Oosthuizen – Toyota Cheetahs – Prop, 21
Cobus Reinach – Cell C Sharks – Scrumhalf, 6
Jan Serfontein – Vodacom Bulls – Centre, 20
Frans Steyn – Cell C Sharks – Centre, 53
Duane Vermeulen – DHL Stormers – No.8, 29

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Humbled Coetzee says ‘sayonara’ http://thestormers.com/humbled-coetzee-says-sayonara/ http://thestormers.com/humbled-coetzee-says-sayonara/#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2015 09:45:41 +0000 http://thestormers.com/?p=9302 The 52-year-old will leave for Japan next Sunday as he embarks on a new phase in his decorated coaching career with Japanese club, Kobe Kobelco Steelers.

Under his watch the DHL Stormers have played in one Super Rugby Final (2010), finished top of the overall log (2012) and collected three South African Conference titles.

There has also been success at Absa Currie Cup level, with victories in 2012 and 2014, along with runners-up medals in 2010 and 2013, whilst some good young players have become Test Springboks under Coetzee’s tutelage.

Think of Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Nizaam Carr, Duane Vermeulen, Damian de Allende and Juan de Jongh, with the likes of Scarra Ntubeni, Steven Kitshoff, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Seabelo Senatla, Kobus van Wyk and Cheslin Kolbe – to name just a few – the next breed of Bok hopefuls.

“I don’t think one can be defined by losing a knockout match. To me, it’s what your management and players think about you and how they play/work for you with a common goal in mind,” said Coetzee on Wednesday morning.

“I was invited to a team meeting with just the players on Tuesday and it was humbling to have guys like Duane Vermeulen and Schalk Burger thank me for my work here… to have Eben Etzebeth give me his Springbok jersey… then you know you’ve done a good job – to me, that defines you; to build relationships and to see how guys have grown as people and leaders on the field.

“Someone like Schalk and I have done 11 years together, with the Boks and here at Province, having had players like that play for me means a lot and it’s something I will take with me.”

Coetzee conceded that there had been some tough times along the way, but he added: “You can’t please everyone, but I’d like to think I’ve left a mark here in what is a diverse and special union and rugby region with an amazing support base, in The Faithful, all of whom have added to the special times my family and I have had in Cape Town.

“Most importantly, I would like to thank my players and my management – I was lucky that they always played for me; I never lost the changeroom, I’ve made some lasting relationships and I will never forget that.”

Looking ahead, to the next few years in Japan, Coetzee admitted to being excited at the next phase in his career but added that he would be back.

“It will be challenging and a bit of a culture shock for me,” said the outgoing DHL Stormers boss, who also worked with the Springboks between 2004 and 2007, “but I’m excited and looking forward to it.

“This doesn’t mean it’s the end of me in South Africa… it certainly doesn’t mean that I won’t be coming back.”

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Duane Vermeulen statement – 22/06/15 http://thestormers.com/duane-vermeulen-statement-220615/ http://thestormers.com/duane-vermeulen-statement-220615/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 14:11:59 +0000 http://thestormers.com/?p=9300 Vermeulen visited French Top 14 club Toulon late last week and was unveiled to the local media as their new signing – a move which certainly caught Western Province Rugby by surprise.

“I was extremely disappointed in Duane’s actions. He is a senior and respected player in our squad and, most importantly, he is our captain,” said Smal.

“Not only did he let his teammates down in a very important game week, but he let down his coaches, the union, our stakeholders and, crucially, our supporters too.

“I had a sit down with Duane this morning and he knows in no uncertain terms that his actions were not acceptable – it is not something we will ever condone at Western Province Rugby.

“But I have accepted Duane’s side of the story and his apology too. He will be addressing his teammates and management tomorrow, to apologise to the entire DHL Stormers squad, and he will also be disciplined internally by us.”

Vermeulen said: “I was initially meant to undergo a medical at Toulon and return to Cape Town by Saturday morning to undergo a final medical check in the case of the DHL Stormers progressing to the Super Rugby semifinals.

“When I arrived in France, however, I found myself in the middle of an unexpected press conference, which, it turns out, was to be my unveiling to the local media – despite there being a confidentially clause surrounding my move. This is certainly something that I will be taking up with my agent.

“However, all that said and done it still does not excuse my actions. I did not go through the necessary channels to clear this trip with the powers that be at Western Province and for that I would like to apologise profusely.

“Not only did I let my teammates down in what was a huge week for them, but I let down the management and coaches, the union and our proud supporters,” added Vermeulen.

“It certainly wasn’t my intention to cause a furore of any sort, when all the focus should have been on our match against the Brumbies, and for that I would like to apologise to everyone who might have felt let down by my actions.”

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Eben die Yster http://thestormers.com/eben-die-yster/ http://thestormers.com/eben-die-yster/#comments Sun, 21 Jun 2015 16:20:50 +0000 http://thestormers.com/?p=9262 Dit lyk amper asof Eben Etzebeth verlore tyd probeer herwin wanneer jy kyk hoe hy vir die DHL-Stormers in vanjaar se Vodacom Superrugby-reeks inklim.

Verlede jaar moes hy die frustrasie verduur dat hy vir die ganse reeks met ‘n enkelbesering langs die kantlyn was.

As jy byreken dat hy boonop die eerste agt wedstryde van 2013 se veldtog misgeloop het, besef jy waarom hy só gretig is om homself te laat geld.

“Dis lekker om weer een week ná die ander te kan speel. Die frustrasie is altyd groot wanneer jy geforseer word om rugby by die huis te kyk,” sê Etzebeth.

“Ek dink wel die strategiese rus vir van die Springbokke vanjaar was ‘n goeie ding. Jou liggaam raak soms seer en dis asof jy met vakansie was wanneer jy ná jou ruskans die Maandag daarna weer aanmeld.”

Etzebeth is egter ná verlede naweek klaar gerus en kan nie wag om sy doelwitte vir dié seisoen te verwesenlik nie. Die DHL-Stormers het reeds goed gedoen deur die Suid-Afrikaanse konferensie van die Vodacom Super-reeks te wen, maar mik hoër as nét dit.

“Die opvatting onder ons is beslis nie dat ons iets groot bereik het nie,” sê hy.

“Niemand onder ons het aan die begin van vanjaar daarvan gepraat om ons konferensie te wen nie. Die doelwit is om die reeks te wen. Mense gaan nie onthou wie die konferensie-wenners was nie.

“As jy wel die konferensie wen, plaas dit jou onder die voorste drie spanne, wat ‘n uitspeelwedstryd op jou tuisveld beteken. Dís belangrik. Jy speel egter die verkeerde spel as dít uitsluitlik jou doelwit is.”

Ongeag wat die DHL-Stormers vanjaar bereik, is daar die belofte van groot dinge in die toekoms.

Dit sal baie mense verbaas dat Etzebeth steeds net 23 is. Ander staatmakers soos onder meer die vaskopstut Frans Malherbe, die haker Scarra Ntubeni, die flank Siya Kolisi, die loskopstut Steven Kitshoff en die agtsteman Nizaam Carr is óók nog jonk.

“Die belangrike ding is om almal bymekaar te hou vir die toekoms. Ek glo ons kan die DHL-Stormers plekke heen neem oor die volgende paar seisoene,” sê Etzebeth.

Terwyl hy in die onlangse wedstryd teen die Leeus op DHL-Nuweland soos altyd onverskrokke was, het Etzebeth óók sy slag met die bal in die hand gewys. Maar, sê hy, hy boer nie graag in die wye kanale nie.

“Die twee balle wat ek op die vleuel gekry het was maar net deur die verloop van spel. Die stutte is aan my binnekant wanneer ons van ‘n lynstaan verdedig en ek het my terloops daar bevind toe ons omkeerbesit gewen het,” sê hy.

“As ons op die aanval is, probeer ek nader aan die losskrums speel eerder as om op die vleuel vir die bal te wag.”

Dis egter nie ‘n slegte pyl om in sy koker te hê nie en wys dat daar nog baie potensiaal in Etzebeth is om te ontsluit. “Of dit nou ‘n groot duikslag, die steel van ‘n lynstaanbal of die dra van die bal is, doen jy maar wat jy kan om só gou as moontlik in die spel te kom. Elke speler geniet dit om sy hande op die bal te kry,” sê hy.

Etzebeth hoop sy vertonings is afgerond genoeg om hom voor in die Springbok-keurders se gedagtes te hou.

“As ek vanjaar beseringsvry kan bly en my spelpeil goed genoeg is om die Springbok-groep te haal, het ek die vooruitsig van ‘n eerste Wêreldbeker-toernooi. Dis die grootste verhoog waarop jy kan speel,” erken hy.

“Dis altyd in jou agterkop, maar die fokus is nou eers daarop om die DHL-Stormers te help om ons doelwit te bereik.”

Etzebeth put veral genot uit die DHL-Stormers se goeie veldtog nadat ‘kenners’ hulle voor die aanvang van vanjaar se reeks afgeskryf het.

“Dit gee jou daardie tikkie meer motivering wanneer mense jou afskryf. As jy dán die eerste twee wedstryde wen, kry jy skielik selfvertroue. Dit was vir die spelers ‘n baie goeie geleentheid om die kritici se monde stil te speel en te wys wat in hulle steek,” sê hy.

Selfs nou word die DHL-Stormers slegs ‘n buitekans gegun, maar dit het geen impak op hul selfvertroue nie.

“‘n Buitekans is al wat jy nodig het,” sê hy.

“Ek dink ons het die vermoë om al die pad te gaan en die beker vir die eerste keer Kaap toe te bring.”

Lixesha lika Etzebeth lokukhokhela

Igama lika Eben Etzebeth lelinye lamagama okuqala xa umqeqeshi weStormers uAllister Coetzee ecinga ngeqela lakhe kumjikelelo ngamnye weSuper Rugby.

Ebengekho umahluko kuleveki njengoba iStormers bezilungiselela umdlalo wanamhlanje ne Brumbies ukuzinika ithuba logudlala kwimidlalo ye semi-finals.

Emva kweveki apho uCoetzee ethe waphumza abadlali bakhe abaphambili, onke amehlo azobe ejonge kubadlali abafana noEtzebeth ukuqinisekisa imphumelelo.

Ubukho buka Etzebeth bubalulekile ngoba amava akhe wokudlalela iqela lesizwe kwaye nendlela le azimiselengayo ekutsibeni kwi-lineout imenza omnye wabadlali ababalulekileyo namhlanje.

uEtzebeth akahambi yedwa phaya esuswini lamdoda apha phambili, uncediswa yenye indoda uManuel Carizza enamava okudlalela iqela lesizwe sase Argentina kwaye kuzo baluleka ukuba omabini lamdoda akwazi ukucinezela aba be Brumbies nakunquzulwano lemizimba.

Yonke lonto izobe ikhokhelwa ngu Etzebeth kodwa uzakudinga uncedo olusuka kubadlali abafana no Vincent Koch, Siya Kolisi, Nizaam Carr no Schalk Burger ukuqiniseka ukuba bacima onke ingongo zeBrumbies zokuphumelela.

Ukudlale kakuhle kuka Etzebeth neqela ngokubanzi lweStormers kuzo phefumla ubomi kwiphupho lokunika uCoetzee isipho esikhulu zokuhamba emzantsi Afrika ethe waphumelela indebe yeSuper Rugby.

DHL Stormers Matchday Magazine

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2015 Super Rugby review – Qualifiers http://thestormers.com/2015-super-rugby-review-qualifiers/ http://thestormers.com/2015-super-rugby-review-qualifiers/#comments Sun, 21 Jun 2015 10:08:07 +0000 http://thestormers.com/?p=9293 The Capetonians, South African Conference winners for the third time in five years, were beaten 39-19 by the Brumbies, which saw the two-time champions from Canberra advance to the semifinals.

It wasn’t a great ending to the season for the DHL Stormers, but ultimately they were beaten by a team that outscored them by six tries to one, with Brumbies winger Joe Tomane collecting a hat-trick and their No.8 Ita Vaea a brace of tries.

The Brumbies will now travel to Wellington to face the Hurricanes, while the Waratahs will host the Highlanders in the other semifinal after the team from Dunedin edged the Chiefs by 24-14 in the first Qualifier.

2015 Vodacom Super Rugby Semifinals:

Hurricanes v Brumbies
Date: Saturday, June 27
SA time: 09h35 (SA time)
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington

Waratahs v Highlanders
Date: Saturday, June 27
SA time: 11h55 (SA times)
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney

DHL Stormers 19 (6) Brumbies 39 (24)

A hat-trick of tries for Brumbies winger Joe Tomane in the first half-hour of their Vodacom Super Rugby Qualifier against the DHL Stormers at DHL Newlands in Cape Town set the tone for the visitors to advance to their third consecutive semifinal.

It was also the second time in three years that the Brumbies travelled to South Africa for a play-off match and returned to Australia with a famous win after they eliminated the Vodacom Bulls in the semifinals in 2013.

Tomane opened the scoring in the fourth minute and added two more tries in the 15th and 25th minutes as the Brumbies raced to a commanding lead.

The DHL Stormers though started finding their feet, but they conceded too many turnovers and lost too many line-outs to make it count.

With the home team hot on the attack late in the first half, they lost possession of the ball in the Brumbies’ half. The visitors kicked out and from the resulting line-out, which the DHL Stormers failed to control, the team from ACT scored their fourth try, courtesy of burly No.8 Ita Vaea, to go into the break leading by 24-6.

The Capetonians started the second half in much better form as they managed to hold on to possession better. When Cheslin Kolbe intercepted and scored after a 60m run, and Demetri Catrakilis added the conversion and his third penalty goal, the deficit was reduced to 24-16 with 30 minutes left on the clock.

Despite a commanding scrum, the DHL Stormers could not build on this momentum though and when Vaea crossed for this second try in the 63rd minute, the mountain the home team had to scale simply became too steep.

Jesse Mogg rubbed salt into the DHL Stormers’ wounds with his team’s sixth try at the death as the home team lost and conceded more than three tries at home for the first time since 2009.

Scorers:

DHL Stormers: Try: Cheslin Kolbe. Conversion: Demetri Catrakilis. Penalty goals: Catrakilis (4).
Brumbies: Tries: Joe Tomane (3), Ita Vaea (2), Jesse Mogg. Conversions: Christian Lealiifano (3). Penalty goal: Lealiifano.

Other result – Qualifiers:

Highlanders 24 Chiefs 14 (Dunedin)

Highlanders: Tries: Waisake Naholo (2). Conversion: Lima Sopoaga. Penalty goals: Sopoaga (4).
Chiefs: Try: Brodie Retallick. Penalty goals: Andrew Horrell (2).

* CLICK HERE for the final Vodacom Super Rugby standings in 2015.

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Coetzee’s last hurrah http://thestormers.com/coetzees-last-hurrah/ http://thestormers.com/coetzees-last-hurrah/#comments Sun, 21 Jun 2015 10:03:44 +0000 http://thestormers.com/?p=9291 The DHL Stormers went down 19-39 to the Brumbies, from Australia, meaning that Coetzee’s time, after six years in charge – in a total of eight years with the team – had come to an end.

Coetzee will join the Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers in Japan; a new adventure for the 52-year-old who has been South Africa’s most successful Super Rugby coach in the past five seasons, which has also seen him guide DHL Western Province to two Absa Currie Cup victories.

“I am pleased with my mission, maybe not the way I wanted to end but playing and winning two Absa Currie Cup titles and three SA Conference trophies, being the best South African side and being the best transformed side, to me that is my job done and I am really happy with that,” said Coetzee on Saturday night.

“It is not just transformation in terms of colour, but it is transformation in how Frans Malherbe becomes a leader, and how Juan de Jongh becomes a leader.

“It is not just about skin colour, but if you look at the dynamics of the side and you go to Johannesburg and black guy tells me that this is his team that he supports, then I know that it is the right job that I have done.

“I go with no regrets, I go away very pleased that we have won, we transformed and we were sustainable.

“We didn’t win the big one in Super Rugby yet, I will leave that to the next guy, I have done the groundwork,” he said.

Looking back at Saturday night’s match, against the Brumbies, Coetzee admitted to the www.iamastormer.com website: “One has got to take this on the chin, move on and give credit to a Brumbies side that were just better on the day in most departments.

“There are no excuses to be made, they are deserved winners.

“Obviously we didn’t help ourselves with unforced errors, yet again the line-out didn’t function well. I think we could have done better with our kicking game which wasn’t all that good.

“They took their chances, every chance they created they converted. We had so many chances as well which we didn’t convert.

“My plea to the guys beforehand was to go all the way,” added Coetzee.

“We have had enough chances to get to play-offs now, we must win it going forward. Maybe with the next coach because I won’t be here, but they are definitely good enough to go all the way.

“We won the Absa Currie Cup in 2014 and we won the SA Conference (title) this year, so if there is any doubt about who is the best team in South Africa then I don’t know what else we need to do.

“The focus must be shifted to the next level, we have got depth now we need to keep this group of players together for the next two seasons and then we can contest for the Super Rugby trophy.”

Coetzee, meanwhile, had a final word of thanks for the amazing supporters of DHL Newlands, The Faithful, who have always had a great relationship with their coach.

“To our home crowd, our Faithful. I would fail in my duty if I didn’t thank and commend them,” he said.

“You couldn’t ask for a better support base and I am going to miss that. You always know you’re playing in front of a supportive and intelligent crowd and I want to thank them for everything these past six years.

“I will miss the DHL Newlands crowd, The Faithful, and I want to pay tribute to them and thank them from the bottom of my heart.”

DHL Stormers skipper Juan de Jongh, in turn, paid tribute to his coach, saying: “I was lucky enough to start out here in 2009 with Allister in charge.

“It’s been a great journey and I want to thank Allister, all the management… they always worked so hard to make things easier for us on the field.

“I’ve learnt a lot from Allister – both on and off the field, in rugby and as a human being – and, on behalf of the players, I want to thank him very much for everything over the past six years.”

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Q&A with Demetri Catrakilis http://thestormers.com/qa-with-demetri-catrakilis/ http://thestormers.com/qa-with-demetri-catrakilis/#comments Sat, 20 Jun 2015 19:16:22 +0000 http://thestormers.com/?p=9260 You took us all by surprise when you missed what appeared to be a fairly easy kick at posts against the Lions!
“I know I should be getting those, but irrespective of how confident you are, there will be a few misses along the way. You will miss from everywhere if you don’t strike the ball well.”

How do you manage to sustain your remarkable goalkicking success rate of about 90%?
“With a lot of practice! I train as much as I can and make sure I put in the right amount of work to be confident on game day. Every day in the build-up to a match is very important to me in terms of practising my kicking. Some weeks I’ll spend an hour per day and if I’m feeling in the zone, I’ll reduce the time. I also work on my kick-offs, drop kicks, out-of-hand kicking and passing, so a lot of time is spent on honing my individual skills.”

How do you stay focused with all the crowd noise when you’re lining up a kick at goal?
“It all goes back to preparation. If I didn’t prepare well and my confidence was low, I would feel that pressure. However, when my mind is settled, knowing that the kick will be the product of me having done all I could in terms of preparation, the pressure doesn’t get to me.”

So it’s more to do with hard work than a good temperament?
“I don’t think temperament comes without hard work. If you have temperament, you would have worked hard at some stage to gain that confidence to execute accurately.”

Did the appointment of Vlok Cilliers as kicking coach improve your all-round kicking game?
“Vlok has made a difference to us with his professionalism since his appointment last year. It’s been good working with him and having different drills at training.”

Your exploits in Absa Currie Cup Finals have made you a bit of a cult hero at DHL Newlands. What do you make of your relationship with The Faithful?
“I don’t know whether I’ll ever play in front of a better crowd than at DHL Newlands. It’s difficult to explain the special feeling I get from playing there. Sometimes, when I come off the field, I almost get butterflies from the applause. It’s really special and something I’ll cherish even after I’ve retired one day.”

Did you enjoy the reward of being called up to the Springbok training camps?
“I guess it’s a reward of sorts to be in that environment, but the real reward will come with wearing the green and gold. I’ll keep working hard towards that goal.”

Do you guys take a lot of pride in winning the South African Conference?
“Yes, we do, but we also realise the job is far from done. We started the year with one goal in mind and that is to be crowned overall winners.”

Have you had a word with your loose forwards about offering better protection after that blow you took against the Lions?
“They’ve done well all season! It was just unfortunate I got an accidental elbow to the temple. I wasn’t all there on the field afterwards. I actually did well in my cognitive tests immediately afterwards and there were no issues after the game. I enjoy defensive duties, but that tackle didn’t quite work out!”

Why do you think so few people gave the DHL Stormers a chance of being the top South African side?
“I don’t know. We had just won the Absa Currie Cup, which surely should have made us favourites to win the South African Conference. We’ve carried that momentum into Vodacom Super Rugby and have seen the results of boxing smart in matches. Perhaps the fact that we didn’t have a good campaign last year played a part in shaping people’s perceptions.”

Is there a flyhalf you have admired and wanted to emulate?
“Growing up, I admired Jonny Wilkinson, simply because he was good at everything. I’d like to get to that level one day.”

How do you spend your free time?
“I recently started taking golf quite seriously and I make an effort to play on our off day. It’s going pretty well!”

Are you aiming as well as when you’re kicking at posts?
“No, not even close!”

DHL Stormers Matchday Magazine

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Brumbies end DHL Stormers’ run http://thestormers.com/brumbies-end-dhl-stormers-run/ http://thestormers.com/brumbies-end-dhl-stormers-run/#comments Sat, 20 Jun 2015 17:08:20 +0000 http://thestormers.com/?p=9264 The DHL Stormers, the 2015 South African Conference winners, were dealt a big blow before kick-off when veteran flanker Schalk Burger was ruled out of the match with a groin strain – having suffered the niggle during training on Thursday.

Michael Rhodes took over from Burger in the No.6 shirt, with Sikhumbuzo Nothse coming off the bench.

However, worse was to follow for the hosts’ loose forward stocks when No.8 Nizaam Carr limped off shortly before the half-hour mark, the Brumbies having already been in a 17-3 lead at that stage – thanks to a sensational Joe Tomane hat-trick, which put the visitors in an early, and valuable, lead.

But the DHL Stormers kept on fighting as the first half played on, coming very close to scoring a five-pointer in the final stages of the opening forty minutes – only to turn the ball over deep in Brumbies territory and then to lose possession in their 22, which saw Brumbies No.8 Ita Vaea power over from close range.

That made the half-time score 24-6 to the visitors – the DHL Stormers having been put on the scoreboard via two Demetri Catrakilis penalty goals.

The DHL Stormers came out firing in the second half and they were rewarded when fullback Cheslin Kolbe read play brilliantly to streak away for an intercept – Catrakilis converting – to leave them trailing by 13-24.

All the momentum was with the DHL Stormers at that stage and the crowd of 28,987 could sense it – their noise levels moving up a notch as they sensed a comeback was on the cards, a penalty goal by Catrakilis narrowing the score to just 16-24.

The Brumbies then hit back via a second Vaea try, which stretched their lead at a crucial stage – despite conceding a red and yellow card in the closing stages of this encounter, Brumbies fullback Jesse Mogg scoring a long-range try to put the final nail in the hosts’ coffin on the stroke of full-time.

It was not to be for the DHL Stormers in this play-off match in the end, as they bowed out after a third SA Conference win in five seasons, but it proved once again how much depth there is in this union – DHL WP having won the Absa Currie Cup last year and also hosting a home Vodacom Cup Final just a few weeks ago.

Also, this a young group of players, with an average of just over 23 in today’s matchday squad, showing just how bright the future is for this playing group – despite today’s defeat.

The scorers:

For the DHL Stormers:
Try: Kolbe
Con: Catrakilis
Pens: Catrakilis 4

For the Brumbies:
Tries: Tomane 3, Vaea 2, Mogg
Cons: Lealiifano 3
Pen: Lealiifano

The teams:

DHL Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Juan de Jongh (captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Michael Rhodes, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 Sikhumbuzo Nothse, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Jaco Taute.

Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Nic White (vice-captain), 8 Ita Vaea, 7 David Pocock (vice-captain), 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Blake Enever, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Jordan Smiler, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Nigel Ah Wong, 23 Robbie Coleman.

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Craig Joubert (South Africa), Jason Jaftha (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)

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Stadium rules reminder: Qualifier http://thestormers.com/stadium-rules-reminder-qualifier/ http://thestormers.com/stadium-rules-reminder-qualifier/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2015 13:22:29 +0000 http://thestormers.com/?p=9250 Saturday’s match gets underway at 17h05, as the DHL Stormers look to progress to the Last Four in the 2015 competition in a match that could be coach Allister Coetzee’s final game in charge in Cape Town – although the DHL Stormers can still claim a home final in two weeks’ time.

Match tickets are selling well ahead of the big game and we would like to urge fans, who have not yet bought tickets, to get to the stadium early or to buy their tickets before Saturday, with great weather conditions on the cards after the cold and wet Cape weather from earlier in the week.

Tickets, priced between R80 (standing) and R150 to R350 (seating), can be bought either online, at http://wprugby.computicket.com, or from Computicket outlets and Shoprite & Checkers stores nationwide.

Some important points for spectators to remember ahead of Saturday, June 20 (2015):

– The DHL Newlands Box Office will open from 09h00 (until kick-off), for ticket sales and collections.
– The Box Office – and stadium shop – will close for approximately ten minutes for the two team bus arrivals on matchday at +/- 15h40/45.
– (As per rule 10) WP Rugby shall be entitled to refuse admission to, or to eject from the Ground, any person whose behaviour or conduct could in the reasonable opinion of WP Rugby constitute a source of danger, nuisance or annoyance to spectators or other persons.
– As per rule No.14 (of the DHL Newlands Stadium Rules), “Only small, personal umbrellas, with no sharp points – i.e. with a blunt rubber tip only – will be allowed into the stadium”.
– Obviously intoxicated individuals will either be declined entry to the ground or removed from the ground.
– Please ensure you sit in your allocated seat(s). If there are any problems, please ask your nearest stand official/security guard.
– Smoking is not permitted on the stands and is allowed only in the designated areas. This includes any and all forms of smoking, including but not limited, to electronic cigarettes and smoking devices.
– Braaiing is not allowed in car parks near the stadium, nor in the DHL Newlands parking garage. (No open flames of any sort are allowed.)

* SEE THE DHL NEWLANDS STADIUM RULES HERE.

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DHL Stormers choose for Brumbies Qualifier clash http://thestormers.com/dhl-stormers-choose-for-qualifier/ http://thestormers.com/dhl-stormers-choose-for-qualifier/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2015 11:07:59 +0000 http://thestormers.com/?p=9245 Outside centre De Jongh has been in the lead for the DHL Stormers since the loss of squad captain Duane Vermeulen and his return, from the side that played in Durban last Saturday, is one of the many expected changes this week.

De Jongh will, as usual, ‘buddy up’ with Damian de Allende in the centres, with Nic Groom and Demetri Catrakilis partnering at halfback and the back three of Cheslin Kolbe, Dillyn Leyds and Seabelo Senatla reunited once more.

Up front, Nizaam Carr – the only starting survivor from Durban – will pack down at No.8 in a powerful and consistent forward pack, with hooker Scarra Ntubeni (calf muscle) passed fit to join the bench.

Ntubeni (who replaces Michael Willemse on the bench), props Ali Vermaak and Vincent Koch, lock Jean Kleyn and loose forward Michael Rhodes will serve as the forwards replacements, with Louis Schreuder, Kurt Coleman and Jaco Taute the backline replacements.

“Knockout matches are different to league matches,” Allister Coetzee told the www.iamastormer.com website.

“You only get one shot at it, you have to be on your game and you have to ensure you dominate physically from the outset. To ask players to be physical in the quarters is to express an understatement.

“The Brumbies are a tough team, a physical team, and will rely on their well-drilled consistent set-piece. We know they have got line speed and we know they attack the breakdown. We are certainly bracing ourselves for a physical battle.”

Speaking about the return to fitness of Springbok tourist Ntubeni, Coetzee added: “Scarra has made a good recovery and I’m pleased about that as it is always a bit dicey when it comes to a calf injury.

“I was happy with the way that Mikey Willemse performed in Durban, but Scarra has run well when tested this week. He ran on a soft surface on Tuesday and again today and he came through well both times.”

* Match tickets, priced between R80 and R350, can still be purchased for Saturday’s much anticipated clash at DHL Newlands – either online, at http://wprugby.computicket.com, or from Computicket outlets and Shoprite & Checkers stores nationwide.

The DHL Stormers team to face the Brumbies (home) is as follows:

15. Cheslin Kolbe
14. Dillyn Leyds
13. Juan de Jongh (captain)
12. Damian de Allende
11. Seabelo Senatla
10. Demetri Catrakilis
9. Nic Groom
8. Nizaam Carr
7. Siya Kolisi
6. Schalk Burger (vice-captain)
5. Manuel Carizza
4. Eben Etzebeth
3. Frans Malherbe
2. Bongi Mbonambi
1. Steven Kitshoff

Replacements:
16. Scarra Ntubeni
17. Ali Vermaak
18. Vincent Koch
19. Jean Kleyn
20. Michael Rhodes
21. Louis Schreuder
22. Kurt Coleman
23. Jaco Taute

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Craig Joubert (South Africa), Jason Jaftha (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)

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