Willemse ticked the right boxes for Feeney

Tue, 04 Jul 2017 08:59

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Stormers assistant coach Paul Feeney was pleased with Damian Willemse's performance in his Super Rugby run-on debut in Bloemfontein in Round 15.

Willemse scored a try and made some good decisions out wide in his side's 40-34 win against the Cheetahs at the Free State Stadium and with Jean-Luc du Plessis and Robert du Preez out injured, the Junior Bok star looks set to keep the No.10 jersey heading into the play-offs.

"It’s great he got a try, it was a good little gap he spotted and he stayed in support on the inside," said Feeney.

"I think he kicked very well for the sideline - three or four times off penalties his kicking for the sideline carved off at least 40 metres, some of them with not great angles. 

"Our last try from the line-out when we were down 33-34, he put that ball within 10 metres of the tryline from halfway."

Feeney acknowledged that Willemse did make a few mistakes in the game, but that was to be expected from a player still finding his feet at senior level.

"He made a few mistakes and I expected him to make a few mistakes. It is more so the learnings with Damian now. 

"He has been given the opportunity and he would have been very nervous last Saturday. I am expecting him to play better again this week. 

"But it is all about the video analyses, the leanings, how he is making his decisions and where he is looking at his age. As we all know it is all about experience. 

"Every minute he gets at this level the better he is going to get over the next wee while. As a coaching group, we were very pleased with his [run-on] debut," Feeney added.

Meanwhile, fullback Sarel Marais is doubtful for this weekend's clash against the Sunwolves.

"He is not looking that good for this week at this stage, but he should be fine for the Bulls game," said Feeney. "We are pleased that it is not a long-term injury that puts him out for the rest of the season."

The Stormers have lost centres Juan de Jongh [concussion] and Shaun Treeby [rib] to injury. Treeby is expected to be out of action for two weeks.

Centre Huw Jones could return to action against the Bulls next week.

By Warren Fortune

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Fri, 24 November 2017
Cheetahs v Edinburgh 17h30 Bloemfontein
Ulster v Treviso 19h05 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Connacht 19h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Leinster v Dragons 19h35 RDS Stadium
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester 19h45 Kingston Park
Sat, 25 November 2017
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 12h45 Welford Road
Bath v Harlequins 12h45 Recreation Ground
Italy v South Africa 13h00 Rome
Scotland v Australia 14h30 Edinburgh
England v Samoa 15h00 Twickenham
Wales v New Zealand 17h15 Cardiff
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 17h30 AJ Bell Stadium
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Sun, 26 November 2017
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Liberty Stadium
Kings v Scarlets 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Zebre v Munster 13h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 15h00 Allianz Park
London Irish v Wasps 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28