• Stormers Super Rugby preview

    The Stormers must improve their attacking game in the 2014 Vodacom Super Rugby tournament.

    JOHN MITCHELL SAYS …

    ‘The Stormers have to develop their attack if they are to contest for the title. Their defence is exceptional but they have to learn to build pressure with the ball. You can’t survive in Super Rugby on pressure defence and chances created from turnovers, particularly in knockout rounds. I’m not sure whether that development will come with this group of players and coaches. They aren’t on an upward trajectory, and I can’t see them getting a different result with the same playing philosophy.’

    PLAYERS OUT

    Don Armand (Exeter Chiefs, England), Andries Bekker (Steelers, Japan), Martin Bezuidenhout (returned to Lions), Deon Carstens (retired), Marius Coetzer (Pumas), Dewald Duvenage (Perpignan, France), Bryan Habana (Toulon, France), Elton Jantjies (returned to Lions), Joe Pietersen (Biarritz, France), Gerhard van den Heever (Munster, Ireland).

    PLAYERS IN

    Manuel Carizza (Racing Métro, France), Demetri Catrakilis (Kings).

    NUMBERS THAT MATTER

    30 – The number of tries the Stormers scored last season (the third lowest after the Kings, 27, and Force, 26).

    88 – The number of Super Rugby caps Schalk Burger has for the Stormers.

    1 – The number of times the Stormers achieved a bonus point for scoring four tries in 2013 (against the Brumbies at Newlands).

    33,545 – The average crowd attendance at Newlands in Super Rugby last season.

    3 – The number of play-off matches the Stormers have lost at home – all semi-finals – against the Highlanders in 1999, the Crusaders in 2011 and the Sharks in 2012.

    1 – The number of play-off matches the Stormers have won in six attempts, against the Waratahs in their 2010 semi-final at Newlands.

    2013 RECORD

    Won: 9; Lost: 7: Win %: 56

    2014 FIXTURES

    15 February: BYE; 22 February: Lions (a); 28 February: Hurricanes (h); 8 March: Crusaders (a); 14 March: Chiefs (a); 22 March: Brumbies (a); 29 March: Reds (a); 5 April: Waratahs (h); 11-12 April: BYE; 19 April: Lions (h); 26 April: Cheetahs (a); 3 May: Highlanders (h); 10 May: Bulls (a); 17 May: Force (h); 24 May: Cheetahs (h); 31 May: Sharks (a); BREAK FOR JUNE TESTS; 27-28 June: BYE; 5 July: Bulls (h); 12 July: Sharks (h).

    PREVIOUS LOG FINISHES

    1996: 11th; 1998: 9th; 1999: 2nd (semi-finalists); 2000: 5th; 2001: 7th; 2002: 7th; 2003: 9th; 2004: 3rd (semi-finalists); 2005: 9th; 2006: 11th; 2007: 10th; 2008: 5th; 2009: 10th; 2010: 2nd (finalists); 2011: 2nd (semi-finalists); 2012: 1st (semi-finalists): 2013: 7th.
    Note: Played as Western Province in 1996 and did not qualify in 1997

    FOLLOW HIM ON TWITTER

    Eben Etzebeth
    @EbenEtzebeth
    55,731 followers

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Forward to watch

    Back to watch

    OTHER SA PREVIEWS

    Bulls preview

    Cheetahs preview

    Lions preview

    Sharks preview

    Photo: Luigi Bennett/BackpagePix

    Post by

    Simon Borchardt