Can Coleman stay the course?

Fri, 23 Aug 2013 11:10
Large kurt coleman wp training Large allister coetzee wp smiles Large kurt coleman kicks

Kurt Kendall Coleman has had a few brief shots at the big time, without cracking a regular starting spot. Saturday he gets another chance.

Kurt Kendall Coleman has had a few brief shots at the big time, without cracking a regular starting spot in either the Stormers Super Rugby or Western Province Currie Cup teams.

In fact Coleman, taking over at flyhalf from the injured Gary van Aswegen, will make his first Currie Cup start for WP against Griquas in Kimberley on Saturday.

Having made his Stormers debut as far back as April 2011, the 23-year-old Coleman has had just a handful of Super Rugby games since - including three starts.

He failed to break into the Stormers team for the 2012 Super Rugby season, instead representing Western Province in the Vodacom Cup. After a short spell on loan at the SWD Eagles, he returned to Western Province for the 2012 Currie Cup season, but will make his first start this week.

WP coach Allister Coetzee dismissed the notion that Coleman may be short on 'big game' experience and said the pivot was well equipped to play a vital role in Kimberley.

"We have all the confidence in Kurt," Coetzee told a media briefing this week.

"He's been there, won the Vodacom Cup with us, he's been in our system. He's been out of the loop with injuries, but he has been training well and I am happy to have him there."

The Province and Stormers boss said Saturday is a "great opportunity" for the young player to finally establish himself as a regular in the senior squad.

"Kurt has good core skills, kicks well out of hand and his defence is also solid - that is why he played Super Rugby," Coetzee told the media scrum.

He [Coleman] kicks well out of hand and his goal-kicking has improved a helluvalot."

The only issues, as Coetzee pointed out, was that he probably has not been as consistent as they would like him to be.

"However, there has been a big improvement," Coetzee said, when quizzed about the flyhalf's lack of consistency.

Coleman is ranked as a great distributor, a player with a good pass.

"That [his passing game] is what we hope will help with the conditions up in Kimberley, help with the attack," the coach said.

The WP mentor said that having been in the system "for a very long time", this is a great opportunity for him again.

"He will also have the responsibility of kicking for goal," Coetzee said, adding: "Kurt has to make sure he takes this opportunity.

"It is going to be a tough game, a lot of pressure. There will be pressure applied in the set pieces and at the breakdown and that will put all out backs under pressure.

"He has to handle that, take charge and give direction - that is what I expect of our No.10 in this game."

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Team P W D L Pts
Golden Lions 10 10 0 0 48
Blue Bulls 10 8 0 2 39
Western Province 10 7 0 3 35
Free State Cheetahs 10 3 2 5 24
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Pumas 10 3 1 6 17
EP Kings 10 2 0 8 12
Griquas 10 1 0 9 8