Stormers ‘fight above their weight’

Wed, 08 May 2013 19:15
Large jean de villiers presser2 Large aplon hand off habana 630 Large joe pietersen stormers hand

Captain Jean de Villiers says the Stormers backline will front up against their larger Waratahs counterparts in Sydney on Saturday.

Captain Jean de Villiers says the Stormers backline will front up against their larger Waratahs counterparts in Sydney on Saturday.

The visitors will have a considerable size disadvantage to contend with, especially in the back three where Stormers coach has opted for Bryan Habana, Gio Aplon and Joe Pietersen.

Habana, at 1.8m, is the tallest of the trio and it is believed that the Waratahs could use their taller and larger backs to win the ball in the air and power over the gainline.

De Villiers, however, is confident that the Stormers’ outside backs will hold their own at Allianz Stadium.   

“That will be a challenge for us but I’m very confident in the backline we’ve got. We know our guys   and they’re quality players,” de Villiers said on Wednesday.

“If you think of some of the backlines we’ve played against there were big guys, especially the New Zealand teams, and we’ve done well in that regard.

“I’m more focused on what those guys can do from an attacking point of view because defensively I have full confidence in them and the team.”

De Villiers, who scored both of his team’s tries in last weekend’s loss to the Blues, feels his midfield partnership with Juan de Jongh is going from strength to strength and that young flyhalf Gary van Aswegen is improving every week.

“I feel the cohesion between Juan and myself is getting better and better and is growing as a combination and Gary is getting more confident in the flyhalf position,” he said.

With the Stormers often being criticised for kicking too much and considering the danger that the likes of fullback Israel Folau poses with ball in hand, the Waratahs are wary of a possible change of tactics.  

De Villiers, however, dismissed the suggestion, saying it’s a case of execution and option-tacking.    

“There will be times to kick and times to keep ball in hand. It comes down to decision-making and if we make the right decisions at the right times there will be opportunities for us to score,” he said.

De Villiers came under criticism after the 17-18 defeat to the Blues for his decision to turn down kickable penalties. The Stormers skipper said making tough calls is part and parcel of the role of a captain and said he stands by his decisions.

“Against the Hurricanes we did exactly the same and we scored a try off the maul and this time around I backed the boys and unfortunately we didn’t win the game,” he said.

“As long as everyone is backing the decision then I’m not worried about it and I think we had that at the weekend,” he added.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10