Coetzee: Ryno ready to shine
Thu, 20 Feb 2014 08:38
It is still a quality team
Stormers youngster Ryno Eksteen could make his Super Rugby debut off the bench against the Lions on Saturday in Johannesburg, and his coach Allister Coetzee is excited about the 19-year-old prospect.
Coetzee has been impressed with the former Affies student, who was spotted by the Stormers scouts playing flyhalf for the Blue Bulls in Craven Week in 2012.
"Ryno is obviously a talented player, he has been at our institute last year already. A couple of years ago at Craven Week he was identified, initially as a 10.
"He has impressed a helluva lot in the last couple of months through the pre-season and we are never scared to give young players an opportunity.
The SA Schools flyhalf from 2012 struggled with injuries last year, but now that he is fully fit, Coetzee is confident of his abilities and sees his best position as fullback at the moment.
"He has shown as a youngster that he has got BMT [big match temperament] and he is composed.
"Unfortunately he did not play a lot of rugby last year for people to see his talents but I am really positive and happy for him, hopefully he can use this opportunity.
"He has got a good skillset, he kicks well out of hand and has great passing and distribution abilities.
"His timing is also good which is why we are looking at him as a 15, he joins the line at pace and has got good timing," the coach added.
The Stormers are missing a few regulars because of injury such as Eben Etzebeth, Juan de Jongh and De Kock Steenkamp, but Coetzee accepts this as a reality that all teams face.
"It is still a quality team that we have selected, it is the strongest possible team we could have.
"I know the injury situation is not just a problem for the Stormers, it is something that we have learned how to live with and accept over the last couple of years and I am sure that the players coming in know what we want to achieve in the opening match.
With his first-choice lock combination of Steenkamp and Etzebeth missing, Coetzee has given his vote of confidence to Manuel Carizza and Rynhardt Elstadt.
"Manuel has got the responsibility to run the line-outs and manage that. From what I have seen at training and in the warm-ups we are very happy with the way he has done it.
"We all know Rynhardt and his ability as a front lock, he has really trained well and worked hard over the off-season as well, hopefully he stays injury-free.
"In last week's game the Lions showed 100 percent line-out success, and Franco [van der Merwe] is really good at contesting line-outs so they will try and put a lot of pressure on Manuel.
"But it is not just about Manuel, Duane Vermeulen is a great line-out exponent who understands it and he will give Manuel all the support he needs."
The Stormers coach says his team will not be taking the Lions lightly and will have to beware of the accurate boot of Lions flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff who kicked 21 points against the Cheetahs last week.
"If you don't respect the opposition it will result in that kind of scoreboard pressure and points given to them on a platter. We understand that it is never easy up there, the ball travels further and he [Boshoff] is a deadly goalkicker who is confident now.
"So we will have to make sure that we respect the ball a helluva lot and be as accurate as we can be.
"Any team in this competition, on the day when they get it right and prepare well, can beat any other team, he added.
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