Stormers have a need for speed

Thu, 26 Jan 2017 12:22
Large eben etzebeth stormers 2017 800

PRE-SEASON BUILD-UP: There will be no room for laziness when the Stormers take on the Cheetahs in a pre-season match in Harare on Saturday.

It will be the first real hit-out for both teams ahead of this year's Super Rugby tournament and both coaching teams will be keen to see how their players have progressed during the pre-season.

The Stormers have put a huge emphasis on fitness and skills in the pre-season in a bid to become one of Southern Hemisphere's best teams.

Speed on attack and defence after ruck time will be one area where skills coach Paul Feeney will be keeping a keen eye on in the game against the Cheetahs.

"It is about getting back to your feet quickly - you got to get back to your feet within three seconds," said Feeney, who was an assistant coach at the Blues before signing with the Stormers and Western province.

"Ideally you want 14 men on their feet defensively and one in the ruck, so you just about got more numbers than attackers. But if you got two on the ground, one in the ruck getting up slowly then all of a sudden you are two men down defensively and you can’t get line speed.

"It is about getting off the ground quickly and getting back in the line defensively, but also getting back to your feet on attack as well.

"For example, if you got a wide ruck, get back to your feet quickly, reload, work early quickly and reload again then there might be something on down the blindside. But if a couple of you are lazy or if you are tired and get up slowly that opportunity is not on and it is shut down."

Meanwhile, Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck has named a 35-man touring squad for the trip to Zimbabwe to face the Cheetahs.

Fleck said that he hopes to see the hard work in pre-season pay off in what will be the first real chance for the players to show what they have to offer this season.

"We have changed the way we have approached our pre-season preparations, so I am looking forward to seeing the results of that out on the pitch in Harare.

"There is a lot of talent in this squad, so it is about translating that into some good rugby which will give us a good chance to reflect and see where we are at," he said.

Cheetahs head coach Franco Smith has chosen 31-player matchday squad for the match against the Stormers.

The squad includes Boom Prinsloo, who has not played a game of rugby in the last nine months after picking up a serious hamstring injury in April last year.

Lock Reniel Hugo will captain the group which also includes Springbok Teboho Mohoje.

Centre William Small-Smith was originally part of the squad to travel to Harare, but he fractured his hand in training this week. His place in the squad is taken by Nico Lee.

Lee was one of the Cheetahs' star performers in last year's Currie Cup, which saw the Bloemfontein go through the entire tournament unbeaten on their way to the title.

Teams:

Stormers squad: Juarno Augustus, Nizaam Carr, Jaco Coetzee, Kurt Coleman, Damian de Allende, Juan de Jongh, Daniel du Plessis, Jean-Luc du Plessis, Robert du Preez, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Dewaldt Duvenage, Rynhardt Elstadt, Eben Etzebeth, JC Janse van Rensberg, Siyamthanda Kolisi, Cheslin Kolbe, Dillyn Leyds, Wilco Louw, Frans Malherbe, Sarel Marais, Godlen Masimla, Mbongeni Mbonambi, Khanyo Ngcukana, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Caylib Oosthuizen, Justin Phillips, Ramone Samuels, JD Shickerling, Chad Solomon, Brandon Thomson, Frans van Wyk, Chris van Zyl, Jano Vermaak, Cobus Wiese, Damian Willemse.

Cheetahs: 15 Ryno Eksteen, 14 Ryno Benjamin, 13 Nico Lee, 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Lihleli Xoli, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 JP Smith, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Junior Pokomela, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Reniel Hugo (captain), 4 Justin Basson, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Elandré Huggett, 1 Danie Mienie. 
Replacements: 16 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Erich de Jager, 19 Dennis Visser, 20 Francois Uys, 21 Jasper Wiese, 22 Teboho Mohoje, 23 Steven Meiring, 24 Tian Meyer, 25 Clinton Swart, 26 Ali Mgijima, 27 Clayton Blommetjies, 28 Raymond Rhule, 29 Jacques du Toit, 30 Johan Coetzee, 31 Zee Mkhabela.

Date: Saturday, January 28
Venue: National Sports Stadium, Harare
Kick-off: 15.15 (13.15 GMT)
Referee: Egon Seconds

By Warren Fortune
@FortuneWarren
@rugby365com

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