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Proudfoot expects Kings to test Stormers forwards

Stormers coach Mathew Proudfoot expects his team to be tested

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Article Published: Wednesday 29 May 2013|

Stormers assistant coach Matt Proudfoot has praised the Stormers forward pack for their impact during their 20-15 Super Rugby victory over the Reds and says they will be tested again by the Kings this weekend.

Former Stormers star flanker Luke Watson returns to Newlands this weekend only this time he will be captain of the opposition as the Stormers host the Southern Kings this weekend.

Assistant coach Proudfoot says that he was pleased to see his new forward combination gel against the Reds.

"For four out of the tight five it was a new game for them. Where guys playing beforehand had rhythm, the tight forwards now need a bit of time to warm up," said Proudfoot on the Stormers site.

"It was nice to see the intensity from the guys but there is still a lot of detail to tighten up. We spent a good session on the scrum today on some detail."

"Tiaan (Liebenberg) is an experienced campaigner and he brings a lot of leadership. If you look at that pack they are all workers and great leadership from Tiaan and that's what every forwards coach wants.

"You don't want too many voices you want workers and that's what we had on Saturday. The pack worked and the work-rate on defence was superb.

"Siya (Kolisi) and Nizaam (Carr) played really well together. I was really happy with Nizaam and Don (Armand) had a great work-rate."

Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth started in the No.5 jersey and he delivered a commanding line-out performance which saw him walk off with the official Super Rugby Man of the Match honours.

"Eben took to the role very well. How he changed it up was very good, he went from four-man to five-man to full line-outs, so to have that level of detail early on was good. I was very proud of him," enthused Proudfoot.

"It's a role that he will grow and develop into. Every generation stands on the shoulders of the generation before and Andries' mentorship of Eben has been massive.

"In the play-off race last year we tried to push Eben into the five role ands he wasn't very comfortable there and not a year later he started a game there successfully, so that mentorship is crucial and Andries has been massive there.

"You as a coach can give structure and leadership and make sure the cogs are working but advice from a senior hand is vital and I'm grateful Andries has been there.

"I've ever equated the two of them. Eben is a player who will astound us in the future. We just need to allow him to develop and not force him into that role."

Looking ahead to this weekend's clash against the Kings Proudfoot said that the Stormers are expecting a tough physical clash.

"They have a great work-ethic and they are robust. They don't take a step back for anybody," said Proudfoot.

"Their mauling is exceptional, their line-out contesting is very good and they have a very good scrum. Our detail will be tested in the forwards battle, so we're spending a lot of time on detail.

"This game is going to be a South African derby about pride and about physicality. It's going to be a good game. They are playing well and Demetri (Catrakilis) has a lot of confidence," added the Stormers forwards coach.

"What was nice for us was getting a win under the belt (against the Reds). You don't have to start at square one again, you can move forward, so this week's preparation has been a lot better for us."

Meanwhile, Proudfoot confirmed that forwards Deon Fourie (ribs) and lock De Kock Steenkamp (chest) would both be fit for selection this week - depending on how Wednesday's final training session went.

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