Boland warns WP of second defeat

In the best traditions of flashy boxing promoters, Boland president Ivan Pikeur warned the Stormers that his team would win their pre-season friendly for the second straight year.

The jibe, delivered with only a smattering of humour, should focus Stormers players’ minds that they will be in for a contest when the sides meet at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.

“We came out champions last year in the match against the Stormers and we promise you that Saturday won’t be any different,” Pikeur said.

“We are coming to Cape Town Stadium to win again, so please guys, you are playing as the Stormers in Stormers kit, so don’t come after the game and say that this wasn’t your proper team.”

The Stormers will only name the squad today but it is clear that it will be one staffed by fringe players and hopefuls, with Sikhumbuzo Notshe set to start at No 8 and Rob du Preez at flyhalf.

Notshe, who should also captain the side with Duane Vermeulen rested, said the players would take the match seriously because they were competing for places in the squad to face the Bulls in round one of Super Rugby.

“The Boland president is right because they won last year and it still hurts,” Notshe said. “We’ll be up for it this time. We’re well prepared and will make it a good show as well.

“You’ve got to be hungry every time you go out there and play. You can’t drop your standards and take a team for granted because you’ll get results like you did last year.

“We’re all playing for places to face the Bulls. The team that goes out on Saturday knows that they have a chance to play against the Bulls. All of us are gunning for a place in that 23-man squad at Loftus.”

Du Preez, who has operated at centre and fullback before, is relishing the chance to start at flyhalf.

“I want to make my name as a No 10 even though I can play several positions,” Du Preez, son of former Springbok scrumhalf Robert, said.

“I’ll be honoured to play anywhere for the Stormers but flyhalf is where I want to settle.”

-Craig Ray

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