You don’t have to start at square one again
Stormers forwards coach Matthew Proudfoot says they are bracing for a tough, physical battle against the Southern Kings at Newlands on Saturday.
The two teams at the bottom of the South African Conference will collide for the first time in Super Rugby this weekend in a match that holds particular significance for both teams.
A victory for the fourth-placed Stormers would give them a near-unassailable lead over the Kings and would all but consign the newcomers to a dreaded two-match promotion-relegation series against the Lions at the conclusion of the Super Rugby season.
Proudfoot thus expects nothing less than an all out battle on Saturday.
“This game is going to be a South African derby about pride and about physicality,” said Proudfoot.
“It’s going to be a good game. They are playing well and Demetri [Catrakilis] has a lot of confidence.”
Proudfoot said last Saturday’s win over the Reds has done wonders for the team’s morale.
“What was nice for us was getting a win under the belt. You don’t have to start at square one again, you can move forward, so this week’s preparation has been a lot better for us,” he said.
Proudfoot said he was satisfied with the makeshift tight five’s performance in the scrums and hoped they would continue to grow this weekend.
He explained: “[Prior to last weekend] We had continuity, pretty much the same tight five, and that’s vital for a pack of tight forwards.
“For four out of the tight five it was a new game. Where guys playing beforehand had rhythm, the tight forwards now need a bit of time to warm up.
“It was nice to see the intensity from the guys [against the Reds] but there is still a lot of detail to tighten up. We spent a good session on the scrum today [Tuesday] on some detail.”
He added that he was pleased with the way in which the new-look loose trio performed as a combination. “Siya [Kolisi] and Nizaam [Carr] played really well together. I was really happy with Nizaam and Don [Armand] had a great workrate,” he said.
Proudfoot added that they have put particular importance on the finer aspects of their set-piece play in order to thwart the well-rounded Kings.
“Their mauling is exceptional, their line-out contesting is very good and they have a very good scrum. Our detail will be tested in the forward battle so we’re spending a lot of time on detail.”