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Let's make no mistake - the Stormers were POOR. However, I can understand Alistair's claim that it was one of the best wins of the season - because if you consider the context, this "Stormers" team certainly did as well as they could have against a very determined Lions side (who beat the Sharks in their last game)...
The "Stormers" were more Vodacom Cup team than Stormers - and you could see that in the way they played: moments of brilliance, followed by silly, basic errors. But towards the end they actually started looking good for moments - you could see them coming together as a team - and they defended well throughout. If you consider that the Stormers have lost the following loose forwards since the beginning of the season: Francois Louw, Schalk Burger, Nick Koster, Duanne Vermeulen, Nizam Carr, Nick Fenton-Wells and now Rynhardt Elstadt (just add Kolisi and Sinclair and you have THREE entire back-rows) - and then consider that they also lost Steven Kitshoff, Eben Etzebeth, Joe Pietersen and Bryan Habana before the game - and then lost Danie Poolman (their best player on the field at that time) after 15 minutes - it suddenly seems like a very brave effort indeed... Especially their defense - because their scrums and mauls were being destroyed in the first half... and they were constantly on the back foot.
So even though the Stormers have not been playing pretty rugby this season, and even though this game was not up to standard, there are now two things you can say with certainty about the Stormers:
A: They have guts and character, right down to number 65; and
B: They know how to win - even when they're not supposed to.
So for those two reasons alone, the Stormers must be considered serious contenders - regardless of tries or playing style.
Hopefully they pull it together next week though! My nerves can't take it..!
Posted 17:40 01st July 2012