Size matters against Crusaders says Fleck

Fri, 02 Mar 2018 08:57
Large cobus wiese v jaguares 2018 800

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Stormers can't afford to be bullied up front when they face the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday.

And that is why a lot rests on Cobus Wiese's shoulders heading into the encounter at AMI Stadium.

Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck believes the 20-year-old's size is just what they need to help counter the defending champions' powerful pack at AMI Stadium. 

Wiese starts in the No.7 jersey after missing out on selection last week.

"The Crusaders' set piece is extremely strong," said Fleck. "They are well known for their line-outs and their mauling. 

"They got a big tight five, they look to put you under pressure in terms of the territory game, so we feel that Cobus is better suited in that role where he brings a bit of size and a bit of grunt up front. 

"There is certainly going to be a lot of battles up front there with the set pieces and that is why we brought him back into the mix."

The line-outs are an area of concern for the Stormers heading into Saturday's clash after their 27-34 loss to the Waratahs last weekend.

Fleck's team lost a few balls on their own throw-in and it was an error in the final line-out of the game which gave the Waratahs an opportunity to score the winning try at the death. 

"They [line-outs] are fixable. We lost two line-outs in the first half which were two overthrows, so that is just from a hooker's point of view. 

"In the second half, the last two line-outs were just technical glitches which let us down. That is something that is fixable and the boys have had a good week in that regard," Fleck added.

Meanwhile, there is still uncertainty around the fitness of fullback Sarel Marais ahead of the Crusaders match.

Marais suffered "a knock" to his knee in training on Thursday and "a call on his availability for the game against the Crusaders will be made on Friday".

If he is unavailable, Dillyn Leyds, who was named at flyhalf for the clash, is set to wear the No.15 jersey and George Whitehead will start at No.10.

By Warren Fortune

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Fri, 30 March 2018
Chiefs v Highlanders 06h35 Hamilton
Rebels v Hurricanes 08h45 Melbourne
Fri, 23 March 2018
Rebels v Sharks 46 | 14
Crusaders v Bulls 34 | 14
Mon, 19 March 2018
Wits v NWU-Pukke 31 | 35
CUT-Ixias v UCT-Ikeys 23 | 30
UP-Tuks v UJ 30 | 30
Shimlas v NMMU-Madibaz 28 | 22
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 5 4 0 1 20
Reds 4 3 0 1 12
Waratahs 4 2 1 1 10
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 8
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 5 3 0 2 15
Highlanders 3 3 0 0 13
Hurricanes 3 2 0 1 10
Chiefs 3 2 0 1 8
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Stormers 5 2 0 3 9
Sharks 5 1 1 5 9
Bulls 5 1 0 4 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4