Stormers’ ‘boogeyman’ Warrick Gelant is back tormenting opposition defences

Stormers fullback Warrick Gelant is back to his best. Picture: Geoffroy van der Hasselt / AFP

Stormers fullback Warrick Gelant is back to his best. Picture: Geoffroy van der Hasselt / AFP

Published May 9, 2024


One of Warrick Gelant’s Stormers teammates left the comment “Baba Yaga” on the fullback’s Instagram post about his try in the match against Leinster.

Gelant’s try at the end of the match saw him sell two opposition players a spectacular dummy before backing his pace to score in the corner.

“’Baba Yaga’ was of course made famous in the John Wick franchise, meaning the “boogeyman”.

Galant’s nickname is actually “Boogie”, which someone bestowed on him while at school in the Southern Cape. It stuck because looked just like a character from a different movie.

But that nickname has since evolved to “boogeyman”, which was a tale used to scare children in Slavic folklore.

It’s because Gelant is one of the most dangerous attacking players in the country, and he showed that against Leinster with a piece of brilliance to round off the Stormers’ convincing win in their previous United Rugby Championship match.

“I got the ball on the outside and I was running laterally towards the touchline,” Gelant told

“As I was running, I threw the dummy to Ben [Loader], just to commit those two defenders that were chasing me to the touchline. I gained some momentum, saw some space and went for the corner.”

But it has taken time for Gelant to get back to his terrifying best this season.

After winning the United Rugby Championship with the Stormers in 2022, he left for France for a spell with Racing 92. He returned to the Stormers at the start of the season, but had a rather slow start to life back in Cape Town.

At his best, rugby comes quite natural to Gelant because of his rugby brain and feel for the game. But it looked like he was forcing things, and making unforced errors that definitely knocked his confidence.

But over the last couple of months Gelant is looking like the playmaker of old, a supremely talented footballer who can dazzle with his mind, hands and feet.

Those three things are certainly back in sync, coming at the right time for the Stormers, who are chasing a URC playoff spot with three crucial matches to play in the league phase.

The Stormers start their short European tour against the Newport Dragons in Wales on Friday night, before travelling to Ireland to on Connacht. They then round off the regular season with a home match against the Lions on June 1.

The Stormers will be hoping the “boogeyman” strikes again over the next three weeks.