- The Stormers get their 2020 Super Rugby Unlocked campaign underway against the Lions on Saturday night.
- The Capetonians are beginning their last stretch of games at the iconic Newlands stadium.
- Captain Siya Kolisi says the side has let down its fans in their Super Rugby performances over the years.
Captain Siya Kolisi says the Stormers have historically let down their fans with poor showings in Super Rugby.
The Capetonians have made the playoffs in the competition five times in the last 10 years – including losing in the famous 2010 final against the Bulls in Soweto – but they have never gone the full distance.
Now, with a move to European competition in the form of an expanded PRO16 competition on the cards from next year, South African franchises are almost certainly done with Super Rugby after 25 years of playing in the southern hemisphere’s premier club competition.
It gives the seven-team Super Rugby Unlocked competition, which started last weekend, an added injection of spice given that this could be the last time the country’s best compete together under the Super Rugby banner.
For the Stormers, who get their campaign underway at Newlands against the Lions on Saturday night, this is also their last run at their iconic home venue before a move to Cape Town Stadium from next year.
Under the leadership of coach John Dobson, the message is clear: Go out as winners.
“I think we’ve let our fans down a lot, almost every single year, especially in Super Rugby,” Kolisi said this week in the build-up to the match.
“That’s one of things we want to make sure of, that we finish strong as a team. We talk about it openly. It’s facts and you can’t hide from it. We have to do something about it and rectify it.
“There is no excuse anymore in saying we didn’t achieve because of this and that. It’s all about what we put on and our mindset, making sure that we’re all in this to win it.
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s good rugby or not. If we’re winning, that’s all we care about right now.”
The Stormers will play at Newlands throughout the Super Rugby Unlocked and Currie Cup competitions and Kolisi says the aim is to host the Currie Cup final on January 16 2021.
“We all decided as a team that whenever we get the opportunity to play at Newlands, we want to make it special. It’s a lot of motivation for us to make sure that we finish strong,” he said.
“Our goal is to have the last game at Newlands.
“We want to win the competition.
“I know it’s going to be tough not having the Newlands faithful here, but at the end of the day we know they’ll be happy, whether they are here or not, if we bring the trophy home.
“That’s what we’ve decided on as a group and we’re not going to shy away from it. Sometime things won’t go our way in the games, but we still have our same mission to give our best and win this competition.”
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Nama Xaba, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Michal Haznar, 23 Tim Swiel
15 EW Viljoen, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Burger Odendaal, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Rabz Maxwane, 10 Elton Jantjies (captain), 9 Morne van den Berg, 8 Len Massyn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Sti Sithole
Substitutes (from): 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 MJ Pelser, 21 Hacjivah Dayimani, 22 Ross Cronje, 23 Gianni Lombard, 24, Wandisile Simelane, 25 Ruan Dreyer