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Stormers sticking to their guns

Tue, 11 Mar 2014 11:40
Stormers-line-out
Nothing really changes for me
Quote-end
Captain Jean de Villiers is adamant that the Stormers set pieces will be effective against the Chiefs even with the forward pack shake-up.
 
In the captains 100th Super Rugby game it is 'business as usual' and he is not letting the occasion get the better of him as the Stormers aim to take the momentum gained at the weekend forward against the Chiefs.
 
De Villiers said: "Nothing really changes for me its not like I never get the opportunity to run out in front of the team."
 
The Stormers line-out, and to a lesser extent their scrum, has been heavily criticised since their unlucky one point defeat to the Crusaders in Christchurch on the weekend. 
 
The Crusaders managed to steal a large portion of the Stormers line-out ball especially in the red zone which halted potential scoring chances for the Cape team.
 
However De Villiers has stated that he will continue to back his line-out in scoring opportunities rather than opting for scrums or quick taps.
 
De Villiers said of the Crusaders game: "We stole four of the Crusaders line-outs and they did the same to us so its pretty even, I don't think the Crusaders are sitting in their change room talking about how their line-out went wrong.
 
"The guys were very competitive at line-out time but if you look at it from the outside it went the same both ways.
 
"De Kock [Steenkamp] did very well as the leader of the line-out to get us ball and yes we didn’t get all of our own ball but we did steal some of theirs as well," he added.
 
De Villiers believes that some of the enforced changes may even benefit the Stormers as they look to be more clinical when it comes to point scoring opportunities.
 
"We've got full confidence in the team that's been selected.
 
"If you look clearly at set phases a guy like Ruan [Botha] comes in at lock which I think helps us from a line-out point of view with him being about 10cm taller than a guy like Michael Rhodes, it gives us a great option there.
 
"So from the set phase point of view we definitly have not being weakened and we still looking to strike from first phase and have a go from there, I think there will be opportunities for us."
 
In the scrum, De Villiers is happy to have the experienced Brok Harris return to the starting line-up with his vast Super Rugby experience but that does not mean he will be utilising the scrum instead of the lineout.
 
"Brok comes in and that definitely doesn't weaken our scrum - he's got 80 odd Super Rugby caps and that's way up there.
 
"From a scrumming point of view I thought we scrummed really well against a quality scrumming pack but this week we will definitely back our line-out.
 
"Its always tricky taking the scrums because I just feel its a lottery there, you take the scrum, you think you are dominant in that area the referee see its a different way,” he explained.
 
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