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Coetzee searching for solid ground

Wed, 30 Jan 2013 13:21
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We will achieve what we want in this warm-up game
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The Stormers head into the first of their two warm-up games against the Cheetahs on Friday needing to get the ball rolling quickly.

"We just have to build momentum from this weekend and get confidence in our systems and confidence in each other as a team,"  said Stormers coach Allister Coetzee.

The side from the Cape are heading into a shorter pre-season game shedule than normal and the coach understands the issues that this might bring.

Coetzee commented: "A player who is not partaking in any of the friendlies makes it difficult to select him, so a guy who doesn't play this week will have to play next week in order to be selected against the Bulls."

This puts the coach in a tricky situation but he is sticking to his guns.

"I don't want a medically fit side to take on the Bulls at Loftus, I want to make sure our guys are really ready for Super Rugby in terms of match fitness," he added.

The two pre-season games against the Cheetahs and Boland have also opened up an opportunity for Coetzee to put players in certain positions and see how they  perform.

Two players highlighted by Coetzee are, Jaco Taute, who returns to fullback, and Kurt Coleman who makes a start at flyfalf.

"It's the start of our campaign and it gives me a chance to see how Jaco Taute starts at No.15," said Coetzee.

Taute has been moved to the back and has added another dimension to an already exciting looking Stormers backline.

Kurt Coleman takes up the reigns at No.10 for the Stormers against the Cheetahs this weekend and will be looking to make a statement with the absense of Peter Grant and Gary Van Aswegen still sidelined.

The coach mentioned: "Kurt [Coleman] got an opportunity to play Super Rugby two years ago... and he didn't look out of place and he has to prove he is competing for the number ten position."

A positive for Coetzee is that the large majority of his squad will be eligable for selection next weekend for the Cape derby against Boland.

"There are no major injury worries but I will never play a player that has a niggle or a little bit of stiffness.

"The issue is to get the injured players' conditioning up to the level were the other players are," Coetzee added.

The Stormers will not want to be in the same situation that they found themselves towards the end of the season last year and Coetzee thinks that his squad has the depth to counter that.

He said: "The depth in the squad is something that we have worked hard on and hopefully we have done a good job and when we get to that final hurdle we still have quality out there."

Coetzee has mentioned his tactic to use a roatation policy during what, we all know, is an incredibly long Super Rugby season.

"For the first time I think we have got the depth in quality and experience to be able to make those kinds of rotations," the coach explained.

Coetzee will be hoping that his side can smoothen out any chinks in these two pre-season games heading into what is a tough first couple of weeks for the defending conference champions.

"It doesn't matter where you start because it will always be a tough start in this comeptition," said Coetzee.

The Stormers side will be going into the start of the competition with less preperation than normal but the coach believes that:

"We will achieve what we want in this warm-up game."

By: Nick Tatham

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