Stormers on brink of history

PUBLISHED: April 22, 2004

The Investec Stormers are on the brink of a historic achievement when they take on the Chiefs in a Super 12 match in Hamilton tomorrow.

They could become the first South African Super 12 side to win three games on tour after beating the Reds and the Blues in the two games thus far.

The Cape-based side is entirely capable of doing just that; provided they stay focused and play to their abilities. Against the Blues their game reached an incredible high and they stunned the star-studded Aucklanders in a five-star performance.

The message from the camp this week was that they would keep their feet on the ground and start all over again against the Chiefs, also contenders for a semifinal spot.

Coach Gert Smal said the Chiefs would come with a big effort. “They have never reached a semifinal and have got a lot to play for. They are a difficult team, because they have massive forwards, solid inside backs and two big wings. That’s why I am expecting a huge game.”

Smal added that his side should regain focus immediately after their exploits in Auckland. “We should keep our feet solidly on the ground and get the win against the Blues out of our system as quickly as possible.”

He said the players looked sharp and have practiced well.

Added captain Corne Krige: “When a mountaineer scales Kilimanjaro he doesn’t stay at the top for too long because he runs out of oxygen. He comes down quickly. The guys are focused. They know it’s going to be a really big job.”

The flank said the Stormers are acutely aware of the fact that they are by no means assured of a semifinal spot yet.

“We are thinking of the semifinals, but we must keep in mind that all three of our remaining matches are on the road. We must take it one game at a time and once we have definitely secured our place in the semifinals we can start thinking about a home play-off.”

Investec Stormers: Werner Greeff, Tonderai Chavhanga, Marius Joubert, Gavin Hume, Gus Theron, Gaffie du Toit, Neil de Kock, Adri Badenhorst, Hendrik Gerber, Corne Krige (c), Willem Stoltz, Quinton Davids, Eddie Andrews, Pieter Dixon, Daan Human. Reserves: David Britz, Pat Barnard, Selborne Boome, Schalk Burger, Johannes Conradie, Chris Rossouw, Pieter Rossouw.

Chiefs: Not Available.

Kick-off: 09:35.