DHL Stormers Hero of the Week - Angelo Davids

rugby16 May 2023 06:28| © SuperSport
By:Gavin Rich

Angelo Davids wasn’t having a great season before the business end of the Vodacom United Rugby Championship arrived.

DHL Stormers coach John Dobson ascribed it to the Blitzbok star making a slow adjustment back to the 15-man game after spending time back on the Sevens circuit. However, just when the Stormers have needed him most, the 23-year-old product of Stellenberg High School has started to come of age.

The game where the wheel appeared to start turning for Davids wasn’t in the URC, it was the Currie Cup game between Western Province and the Vodacom Bulls a week before the quarterfinal against the same opponents. Davids frequently popped up in that game as a stand-out for the blue and white hoops on both attack and defence as they outplayed their arch-rivals 31-7.

Unlike the Bulls, there weren’t any WP players that Dobson intended to start in the quarterfinal seven days later, but thanks to the car crash two days before the game that robbed the Stormers of the services of another Blitzbok star, Seabelo Senatla, and the injury to Suleiman Hartzenberg the week before that in a Currie Cup game in Nelspruit, Davids was elevated from being a probable match-day squad member into the starting team.

With Leolin Zas making a positive return to rugby after a long injury-enforced layoff on the other side of the field, the two Stormers wings were a constant threat to the Bulls, with both of them scoring tries, and Davids showing plenty of strut.

“Angelo is one of those players who is under the radar but he is an excellent player who contributes a lot in several areas with his high work rate. In addition to his obvious pace he is a very busy player who is always looking for work and last Saturday we saw an example of what he could do," said Stormers assistant coach Dawie Snyman the week after that game.

But if Davids was good against the Bulls, the semifinal against Connacht was his coming of age. Not only did he run onto the Manie Libbok cross kick for the Stormers’ first try, but it was also the wing who provided what in soccer parlance would be described as an excellent assist by inserting himself as first receiver and putting in the flyhalf for his second try.

Davids was all over the field, both on defence and attack and featured in several of the Stormers' transitions that had Connacht flummoxed and which secured the Stormers their passage into the 27 May final at the Stormers’ home ground of DHL Stadium.