CAPE TOWN – After six months of no rugby, every single team and player will be eager to get back into action when the Super Rugby Unlocked competition kicks off this weekend.
The Stormers, though, will have to wait a little longer to play a competitive game as they’re on a bye this weekend. The motivation, however, will be just as high among John Dobson’s side as in any other team.
With the restrictions on contact training during the stricter lockdown regulations, teams had a number of alternative training focuses, and seeing what comes out of that is another factor to look forward to as rugby returns.
So, here are three factors that can help the Stormers go the distance during the domestic competitions.
This isn’t exactly a drum-roll moment.
It’s common knowledge that the Cape side’s forward pack is one of their biggest strengths, and the unit’s influence will be of no less importance against their South African opposition over the next few months.
With names like Steven Kitshoff, Bongo Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe and the promising Salmaan Moerat and JD Schickerling in their tight five, they’re bound to be an imposing presence, while their loose forward options are just as exciting.
Whether it’s showing off at the scrum, ruling those driving mauls or bossing the lineouts, the pack will no doubt be key for the Stormers.
The Faithful will be sorely missed at DHL Newlands today with no spectators allowed in the stadium due to Covid-19 protocols, but you can catch all the action from the Castle Lager Springbok Showdown on Supersport, with kick-off at 17h05. #thefaithful #dhlnewlands #greenandgold pic.twitter.com/JDk0SAbGqF
— DHL Stormers (@THESTORMERS) October 3, 2020
The Last Dance at Newlands
How can they not be extra motivated to make an impact in the Super Rugby Unlocked and Currie Cup competitions knowing that it would be the perfect goodbye to the grand ol’ dame?
With the Western Province and Stormers sides to have a new home (Cape Town Stadium), the ultimate – and certainly the most befitting – goodbye to the iconic stadium would be lifting one (imagine both!) trophies on the Newlands grounds.
The Stormers didn’t get the chance to chase their maiden ‘normal’ Super Rugby title this year, but getting the job done against local opposition will be as good as it gets this year.
The new (and fresh) talent
The Stormers have quite a bit of fresh talent in their ranks.
There’s Warrick Gelant in for Dillyn Leyds, Leyds’ younger brother Tristan, and then those guys who have been in the mix for a while who can now start looking forward to getting more game time, like Neethling Fouche, Ersnt van Rhyn, Johan du Toit, and so on.
While the contributions of all players will be important, how the youngsters come in and balance things out will also be a factor, especially if injury should strike.