Rabo Pro 12 – Un’ala sudafricana per Munster. By Giorgio Sbrocco

L’ala degli Stormers Gerhard van den Heever (24 anni) ha firmato un contratto biennale con Munster e al termine della Currie Cup sarà in Irlanda per disputare la stagione celtica del Pro 12 con l’Armata rossa di Limerick.  Van den Heever, che può ricoprire anche i ruoli di centro e di estremo, ha collezionato 26 presenze con gli Stormers e nel 2012 ha vinto la Currie Cup con la maglia di Western Province. Ha disputato due stagioni con i Bulls (2009 – 2011) per un totale di 29 presenze.Giorgio Sbrocco


Super Rugby – L’imbarazzo di Allister Coetzee (Stormers) dopo Melbourne. By Giorgio Sbrocco

Imbarazzante. Così il tecnico degli Stormers, Allister Coetzee, ha definito la sconfitta (30-21) della formazione di Città del Capo a opera dei Rebels di Melbourne. Per una squadra che nella passata edizione del Super Rugby aveva chiuso la stagione regolare con due sole sconfitte (primi della conference SA) e che ora si trova a dover mettere agli atti la numero sette…Difficile non concordare con l’imbarazzato allenatore. “Purtroppo, nonostante l’impegno e la voglia dimostrata in campo da tutti i miei giocatori, ci siamo riconfermati nel ruolo di nostri peggiori nemici. Onore ai Rebels che, sul campo, ci sono stati superiori e hanno meritato di vincere. Ma noi siam ostati davvero poca cosa. Non abbiamo scuse per come abbiamo giocato!”. Evviva la sincerità!Giorgio Sbrocco


Super Rugby – Habana in campo con gli Stormers dal 26 aprile. By Giorgio Sbrocco

Torna a giocare nel Super Rugby Brian Habana, ala degli Stormers e degl iSpringboks (dalla prossima stagione a Tolone in Top14) dopo un mese di sosta a causa dell'infortunio al ginocchio (legamenti). Il rientro avverrà in occasione delle quattro partite esterne che la franchigia sudafricana dusputerà in Nuova zelanda e in Australia. Terminata la fase di recupero il forte atleta sudafricano sarà disponibile in occasione della sfida con gli Hurricanes il 26 aprile a Wellington e nei successivi impegni con i Blues di John Kirwan, i Waratahs di Michael Ceika e i Rebels di Melbourne.Giorgio Sbrocco


Super Rugby – Nove neozelandesi nel Best XV di Planetrugby. By Giorgio Sbrocco

È di Planetrugby.com il primo Best XV dell’appena concluso Super Rugby, il torneo australe vinto dai Chiefs di Sonny Bill Williams nella finale di Hamiltono contro i sudafricani Sharks di Durban guidati  dal francese Michalak all’apertura. Inviate nelle zona riservata ai commenti il vostro personale Best XV. Giorgio SbroccoSUPER RUGBY – Best XV 15 Andre Taylor (Hurricanes)14 JP Pietersen (Sharks)13 Conrad Smith (Hurricanes)12 Sonny Bill Williams (Chiefs)11 Julian Savea (Hurricanes)10 Aaron Cruden (Chiefs)9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow (Chiefs)8 Kieran Read (Crusaders)7 Marcell Coetzee (Sharks)6 Adam Thomson (Highlanders)5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs)4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers)3 Dean Greyling (Bulls)2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks)1 Sona Taumalolo (Chiefs)


Stormers hold off Sharks Attack, by Mark Ella

Rarely do rugby matches without any tries being scored be so entertaining but that's just what happened when the Stormers held the Sharks at bay to win 15-12 at Newlands over the weekend.It has been noted that prior to the start of the rugby season the South African Super Rugby franchises are getting a little tired of playing each other such is the regularity of playing against each other throughout the Currie Cup.So the last thing they want to do is play against their countrymen when there are Kiwi's and Wallabies to sink their teeth into.But the structure of Super Rugby is shaped that the first part of the series involves local derbies which is fine in Australia unlike South Africa and new Zealand where they have elite provincial competitions.But the standard of the match was fantastic along with the high level of intensity and even though there were more Springboks off the field than on the players threw themselves into the contest as if their lives depended on it.The first half was dominated by some entertaining and controlled rugby by the Sharks who took the challenge to the Stormers playing at home and were perhaps a little unlucky to have only led 9-6 at half time.Springbok winger JP Pietersen playing in the centers was involved in everything and looked at home having more involvement in the game.He linked well with his wingers particularly Mvovo who created havoc out wide but instead of controlling the football and dominating possession they tended to kick a little too much allowing Stormers fullback Joe Pietersen to easier return the ball with interest.At this stage of the game the Stormers with a star studded back line did very little to stem the tide and the likes of Aplon, de Jongh, de Villies and Habana had very little impact of the game.In the second half with the fans urging them on, the Stormers pack lifted their game and matched the Sharks up front to gradually bring them back in the game to give their exciting three-quarters the space that they lacked in the first half.It was strange watching French No.10 Frederick Michalak playing at scrum half for the Sharks inside of Pat Lambie and I thought that he looked out of place and it was no wonder that he was replaced by early in the second half.As the pressure gradually started to mount upon the Sharks their game started to fall apart and the smooth rhythm that they had in the first half was missing and so the mistakes began to put them off their game.The Stormers could have put this match to bed much earlier if their fullback Joe Pietersen had his kicking boots on landing only three out of six attempts and thankfully the experience of Peter Grant who landed the winning penalty from the sideline with only minutes remainingIt was a tough hard fought victory for the Stormers and again goes to show just how important it is to win home matches because the away contest will not be easy in this competition.After a disappointing RWC the young South Africans showed plenty of skill mixed in with the usual array of physicality up front to keep their fans entertained and on their feet.If both the Sharks and Stormers can keep their intensity at the same levels against the Australian and New Zealand teams then they will make sure that this years Super Rugby competition is far from being settled in Brisbane with the Reds as we Aussies are predicting. Mark Ella

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