They're pretty tall and we will need to be sharp with our line-out
Moving Willem Alberts to lock paid off handsomely for Sharks coach John Plumtree last week, but how will he cope in the second row at Newlands?
By shifting the powerful Alberts to lock Plumtree was able to field seven Springboks in the pack that bullied the Reds in Brisbane last week, but the Stormers are likely to pose a different test altogether in their semifinal on Saturday.
Plumtree was happy with the way the experiment worked out at Suncorp Stadium, explaining that Alberts had been given a license to play his natural game against the defending champions.
"The way I used him [Alberts] wasn't in a traditional locking role, he wasn't involved in a lot of line-outs, we left him to his running game and the only area he was really tied up was at scrum time.
"I thought it was positive. I can say that because we won, but his involvement in the game was good. A positive as well is that it kept together the loose forward trio that has been going so well together," said the Sharks coach.
Plumtree explained that he was particularly pleased with the way the line-out functioned last week considering they had only one specialist lock in Anton Bresler, and added that he expects his team to be seriously tested in this area on Saturday.
"There is always going to be a bit more pressure at line-out time, but Keegan [Daniel], Ryan [Kankowski], Willem [Alberts] and Anton [Bresler] did really well against the Reds. But we know it's an area the Stormers will target, they're pretty tall and we will need to be sharp with our line-out," he said.
The Sharks boss said that the key to their success at line-out time in recent weeks has been the contribution of No.8 Ryan Kankowski who has taken the responsibility of controlling the vital set-piece.
"Ryan can take a little bit of credit, he's done a good job calling the line-outs and the boys have been really switched on. They've delivered some nice options, we know it's a big area of our game because it is being targeted, so we've put a big focus on it," he said.
Plumtree said that although the Stormers are fairly predictable, their strength lies in their consistency which means that they will be full of confidence playing the semifinal at home where they have not yet lost this season.
He said: "They don't change too much in what they do, but what they do is really efficient.
"There are trends about them that are really consistent. They have a real belief in what they do, their leadership is clearly very strong because they get out there and play consistent rugby each week, that's why they finished top, that's why they're in a situation where, if they beat us, they get a home final," added the Sharks coach.