Size matters against Crusaders says Fleck
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