The Stormers ship will sail in this weekend’s round of Vodacom Super 14 matches. Contrary to popular opinion the black tide of doom won’t sink the men in black.
That’s the good news for Capetonians. The bones have seen black, but don’t confuse a Stormers win with a new dawn. The Stormers will win, not because they have improved significantly, but because the Hurricanes aren’t half as flash when they hit the road.
Don’t underestimate the Cape Town nightlife curse either. The Canes boys like to party, but clearly they don’t always enjoy each other’s company. What was evident in last week’s defeat against the Cheetahs was how much they miss the calming on-field influence of Tana Umaga.
The Canes have some wonderfully talented individuals, but the glue that binds these individual pages and makes it an imposing book is missing.
A personal highlight will be the gladiatorial battle between Schalk Burger and Jerry Collins. Schalk’s been off his game for a few weeks, but his juices will be pumping at the prospect of smashing Collins a few times.
Collins was a lot more effective in belting his own teammates in the pub than he was against Juan Smith’s Cheetahs a week ago. Smith chased down the New Zealand hardman and gave him a working over.
The Stormers will want more of the same from Burger.
Nick Mallett’s video session and rev will have the necessary effect this weekend. But there is no long-term benefit to a win against the Canes. The Stormers, a week from now, will need a bit more to beat the Cheetahs.
Stormers to win by 10!
In the earlier matches
The Hamilton Hicks will be competitive for an hour against the in-form Crusaders, but it will be a comfortable 10 point away win for the five time champions.
The Tahs will skin the Cats by 15 in Sydney, the Brumbies will triumph in a thriller in Canberra, just having too much class to see off a gallant Sharks team, who traditionally have always played well agains the Brumbies. The hosts to take it by five.
In the bore of the weekend the rubble Reds will get a 10 point home win against the Farce from Perth, while the Bully Boys will beat up the Highlanders.
Bulls to win it by 15.
Friday 10 March Chiefs v Crusaders in Rotorua
Friday 10 March Waratahs v Cats Sydney
Saturday 11 March Brumbies v Sharks Canberra
Saturday 11 March Reds v Western Force Brisbane
Saturday 11 March Bulls v Highlanders Pretoria
Saturday 11 March Stormers v Hurricanes Cape Town
Week 1: 4/7
Week 2: 4/7
Week 3: 4/7
Week 4: 5/6
Total: 17/27 = 63 percent (and climbing)