Cape Town welcomes two sporting veterans in Shane Warne and Ollie le Roux this weekend. Both are (literally) bigger than their sport, and both are equally dismissive of the local sides.
Whilst Warne gets stuck into Graeme Smith, Mickey Arthur and anyone else wearing green to anyone who will listen, Le Roux has given Kobus van der Merwe’s Stormers a slightly more subtle rev.
“The Bulls have had a bit of a hiccup against the Brumbies, but are otherwise strong. The Sharks are showing a lot of guts and fire, and in my opinion the Cats are getting one or two things wrong but will recover and with Andre Pretorius at 10 record a few wins at home. The only team that really doesn’t look right is the Stormers,” Le Roux told keo.co.za.
Renowned for his pre-match banter, Le Roux stated that a lack of leadership on the field is the major reason for the Stormers’ underachievement thus far this year.
“Look I’m sure they’re working hard and it is a hard tournament. There’s one or two things that jump out at me, and after every loss they’re losing confidence which is always dangerous. They do seem to lack leadership though. De Wet Barry has not impressed as captain and that’s maybe why he finds himself on the bench.”
Jean de Villiers, a favourite of Le Roux, captains the Cape side in Barry’s stead.
“We’ll see how he goes as skipper,” Le Roux smiles. “I wish him the best of luck.”
Whilst the Cape side’s desperation for a home win ahead of their away trip is tangible, the Cheetahs are also regarding the fixture as a must-win after slipping up at home to the Bulls and Highlanders.
Despite their two previous victories at Newlands, Le Roux is emphatic that history means nothing.
“It’s not a bonus for us that we’ve won their on our last two visits. We can’t bargain or bank on that bullshit. We have to go out there and perform, it’s that simple. We do know what it takes to win there, and it’s balls to the wall all the way.”