Heinz Schenk
2 minute read
26 Mar 2019
8:17 pm

Barging Bongi deserves better from Stormers

Heinz Schenk

Even if the humble Springbok hooker won't ever play the blame game...

Stormers Bongi Mbonambi runs the ball during the Super Rugby match between New Zealand's Hurricanes and South Africa's Stormers at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on March 23, 2019. (Photo by Grant Down / AFP)

When Bongi Mbonambi lashed out at Ardie Savea after the final whistle blew in last weekend’s match between the Hurricanes and Stormers, the Springbok hooker probably didn’t direct it at the All Black flanker.

Instead, the 28-year-old just needed someone at that moment vent his frustrations at.

“Sometimes, emotions take over. We’re doing what we love to do,” said Mbonambi from Auckland, where the Capetonians take on the Blues on Saturday.

“What we say on the field, stays on the field. We’re mates again.”

Mbonambi’s state of mind was understandable.

He had given his all in the 28-34 defeat.

He had carried ball relentlessly, making the break and pass that should’ve led to the Stormers’ first taste of the tryline.

He was at the heart of the Stormers’ rolling maul in the dying moments of the first half, dotting down over the whitewash.

And he’d completed 10 tackles without missing a single one.

Mbonambi, at least from a personal perspective, deserved better.

Not that this team-man will ever play the blame game.

“It’s a matter of honour when you play for the Stormers,” he said.

“We’re always striving to do our best. It’s really great to be playing with so many great players.”

After a lukewarm start to the season, Mbonambi has certainly had to up his game, particularly with deputy hooker Scarra Ntubeni breathing down his neck.

“Competition is always good. As a player, you need that. You need someone to push you so that you can be better. We get along fine,” he said.

“There’s always room for improvement. No player is ever in a space where he’s just happy with his form. I’ll continue to work harder.”

If Wellington was a marker, that’s a pretty scary thought for opponents.

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