Stormers banking on skilful loosies

Wed, 15 May 2013 20:05
Large deon fourie stormers pass Large siya kolisi stormers train Large deon fourie stormers Large nizaam carr stormers

The Stormers may have lost some serious muscle, which means they will be banking on brains more than brawn this week.

The Stormers may have lost some serious muscle, which means they will be banking on brains more than brawn this week.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee is hoping that a new-look loose trio will kick-start his team's bid for victory in Friday's Super Rugby clash against the Rebels in Melbourne.

The loss of bruising forwards Rynhardt Elstadt and Duane Vermeulen - both with knee injuries - means the look loose forward combination will bring a very different skillset to the game.

Regular hooker Deon Fourie will move from the front row to the back row (No.6), with Siya Kolisi shifting to the other side of the scrum and Nizaam Carr packing down at No.8.

"This is quite a good and exciting team and we're looking forward to seeing how they perform on Friday," said Coetzee from Sydney on Wednesday, after announcing a team showing seven changes (two of them positional) from last week.

"We've lost two loose forwards - including a No.8 - and we all know that Deon [Fourie] has done the job for us there before and he's been very successful there [at Currie Cup level]. Hopefully he can do the job for us at Super Rugby level too."

In terms of Kolisi's role, which sees him move across from openside to blindside, Coetzee explained: "Siya has done the job for us well at No.6 for us since Schalk Burger's injury last year. But we all know that he's a good ball-carrier, so hopefully he can fill that role for us this weekend.

"A big part of a No.7's job is to carry [the ball]. I'm excited about him playing there, but I don't think it's a massive difference [or change] for Siya. He's done well for us at No.6, but this is a great opportunity to see how he goes at 7.

"Nizaam has been good off the bench, but this is a good opportunity for him to stake a claim for a starting spot at No.8. He's been training well, he deserves this chance, and this is a great opportunity for him."

With a new-look loose trio and front row set to front up against the Rebels, there will also be a brand new halfback pairing with Louis Schreuder starting his first match this season alongside Springbok Elton Jantjies, who replaces Gary van Aswegen as the starting flyhalf.

"Louis hasn't had an opportunity to start yet [this season]. Groomie [Nic Groom] has started, Dewies [Dewaldt Duvenage] has started... maybe Louis can bring something different to the team. He's been training well - it's also a great opportunity for him and I know he's very excited about starting.

"We're not suddenly going to change the way we play - you have to be part of the squad to understand the momentum we build at training. We've spoken all year about having three good scrumhalves at our disposal, but you cannot leave a guy out if he's playing well... yet the others also need a starting opportunity.

"The big responsibility of Louis and Elton is to direct play for us this weekend and to make good decisions in terms of where we want to play and to use the opportunities that we get."

The Stormers currently have six points from three matches on tour and a win over the Rebels could see him finish their four-match tour with either 10 or 11 points.

For Coetzee, however, Friday has nothing to do with four-try bonus points or potential permutations - he has one thing only on his mind; victory.

"We're just looking at this one [this weekend]. We've lost two games in a row now, so we're just looking to come away with a win," said the Stormers boss.

"Winning a conference or talking about play-off chances is looking too far ahead. It's all about this weekend - getting the points and getting back to winning ways again."

Meanwhile, skipper Jean de Villiers has stressed that the team - himself included - needs to cut out their errors and back up what their coaches have been saying all season long.

"We've had two narrow losses now - two games we could've won, but didn't... more than anything we need to win this game on Friday," said De Villiers. "The injuries don't help, but that's all part of this game... we just need to adapt and play better rugby."

When asked about how they could "play better rugby", the Stormers' star centre added: "For us, it's just [about] holding onto the ball. We have addressed it once again this week - it's something we've been poor at, myself included.

"The individual errors we've been making are not acceptable at this level. The coaching staff have done more than enough to put structures in place and give us an effective gameplan, but we, as players, need to go and execute it and hold onto the ball.

"I think our defence was solid [against the Waratahs], even though we did concede two tries, and we created chances for ourselves, which, of course, we did not take. [The improvement] is something that has to come from within, but, first and foremost, we need to cut down on our errors."

Stormers vs Reds
sast: 17h15 | local: 17h15

  • 18 | 7
Sat, 24 March 2018
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Fri, 30 March 2018
Chiefs v Highlanders 06h35 Hamilton
Rebels v Hurricanes 08h45 Melbourne
Scarlets v La Rochelle 17h30 Parc y Scarlets
Sat, 31 March 2018
Blues v Sharks 06h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Waratahs 08h45 Canberra
Sat, 24 March 2018
Kings v Treviso 35 | 36
Hurricanes v Highlanders 29 | 12
Sunwolves v Chiefs 10 | 61
Fri, 23 March 2018
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 18 | 20
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 68 | 7
Connacht v Edinburgh 22 | 29
Dragons v Cheetahs 17 | 29
Rebels v Sharks 46 | 14
Crusaders v Bulls 34 | 14
Mon, 19 March 2018
Shimlas v NMMU-Madibaz 28 | 22
UP-Tuks v UJ 30 | 30
Wits v NWU-Pukke 31 | 35
CUT-Ixias v UCT-Ikeys 23 | 30
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 5 4 0 1 20
Reds 4 3 0 1 12
Waratahs 4 2 1 1 10
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 8
Sunwolves 5 0 0 5 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 5 3 0 2 15
Hurricanes 4 3 0 1 14
Chiefs 4 3 0 1 13
Highlanders 4 3 0 1 13
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Stormers 5 2 0 3 9
Sharks 5 1 1 3 9
Bulls 5 1 0 4 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4