The Vodacom Stormers will tackle their first Vodacom Super 14 home game, against the Waratahs at Newlands on Saturday, with heaps of guts, attitude, commitment and passion.
That was the promise this week from coach Kobus van der Merwe. The Stormers started their campaign with a good away win over the Cats. Now they face last year’s beaten finalists in a game that should be much more of a test of their abilitities.
“It is going to be hard,” said Van der Merwe, who is coaching a Super 14 side for the first time.
“Newlands is our home ground and we really want to do well there. We are not going to make promises of semi-finals and about winning the competition, but the fans won’t see a Stormers team without guts, attitude, commitment and passion.”
Van der Merwe said of those are the ingredients to success, the ball would hopefully bounce in their favour more often than against them.
“We have a young side who want to do well. They’ve set their standards high as individuals and as a team. Against the Cats the commitment levels were high and hopefully we can repeat that type of performance.”
Van der Merwe said the bruising encounter with the Reds and the travel factor could maybe count in his side’s favour. “But they are a professional group of players and they should be ready for the big game at Newlands.”
An interesting battle is on the cards with several world-class players out to prove their mettle. Luke Watson, Schalk Burger and Adri Badenhorst are up against the experienced Waratahs trio of Rocky Elsom, Phil Waugh and David Lyons and here sparks could fly.
Wings Rayno Benjamin and Jonghi Nokwe, in only their second game for the Stormers, will have their work cut out against Wendell Sailor and Lote Tiquri.
These duels within the battle could play a decisive role in the outcome of the game and Stormers supporters hope to have reason to celebrate come Saturday night.
Vodacom Stormers: Werner Greeff, Jonghi Nokwe, De Wet Barry (capt), Jean de Villiers, Rayno Benjamin, Peter Grant, Bolla Conradie, Adri Badenhorst, Schalk Burger, Luke Watson, Andries Bekker, Ross Skeate, Eddie Andrews, Schalk Brits, JD Moller.
Substitutes: Hanyani Shimange, Attie Winter, Henk Eksteen, David Hendricks, Neil de Kock, Naas Olivier, Joe Pietersen.