Selection poser for Coetzee
Mon, 10 Mar 2014 13:55
Allister Coetzee has a few tough decisions to make for Friday's clash against the Chiefs as injuries continue to mount.
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has a few tough decisions to make for Friday's clash against the Chiefs as injuries continue to mount.
Four more Stormers joined the long injury list - with Siyabonga Ntubeni and Springbok Pat Cillers being sent home. Michael Rhodes, who has a shoulder injury, and Frans Malherbe, who broke his little toe, are both looking like they will not be available for the Stormers second tour game.
Coetzee's matchday 22 could throw up some surprises as he looks to build on an unlucky defeat to the Crusaders last weekend.
In the front row he will be waiting to hear about Malherbe's condition while making alternative arrangements with Boland prop Martin Dreyer to come in as cover.
"Frans [Malherbe] will be reassessed on Wednesday but we will see how it goes with a broken toe, its a little toe fracture so there is still a chance for him." Said Coetzee.
"The question should be asked do you risk him this week again and make it worse next week?"
If Malherbe is out, Brok Harris and youngster Oliver Kebble are on hand to add their bulk to the front row.
"Brok Harris comes into the mix and its a great opportunity for him because you never plan to have two tighthead props injured at one time so we are really thankful to have him and his experience."
Deon Fourie could make a switch to hooker but it is unlikely as Coetzee is looking to keep his loose trio intact. When asked about playing Fourie at hooker Coetzee said:
"No not at this stage I think Deon is playing really well at flanker, he has been outstanding, our whole loose forward combination has been outstanding."
The Stormers boss has also flown in Western Province hooker Stephan Coetzee as cover for Ntubeni.
At lock Coetzee's problems continue with Rhodes' Injury a big blow.
"I’ve got De kock Steenkamp, Ruan Botha and Jurie van Vuuren has also joined us and I've got a trump card up my sleeve but we will see how it goes."
The suggestion being that Coetzee's trump card is Duane Vermeulen moving to lock especially seeing as Siya Kolisi is fit again and Deon Fourie is set to stay in the No.6 jersey.
"Its not something I would like to do ... its not that Duane would start there but he can cover there at lock.
"Siya is definitely also ready this weekend, he will be up for selection but it is one of the nicer problems to have."
In the backline there are less immediate injury concerns with Taute looking a strong contender to retain his No.15 jersey.
"Jaco Taute is looking good, his AC joint has settled nicely and there is a big possibility that he will be up for selection on the weekend."
Peter Grant is also another one who will be giving Coetzee something to think about as he makes a push for a potential starting berth along side scrumhalf Nick Groom.
"I think Nick has really played well this weekend, I am particularly happy with the way he's kicked the ball
"I thought his distribution was also very good and he was solid on defense so I have no doubt he could link up with any flyhalf"
Coetzee is still confident that even with all the injuries to his squad the Stormers will be a tough challenge for the current Super Rugby champions to overcome.
"We will be able to field a really competitive and a good team for this weekend."