Stormers

Bekker backs his tight five

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The Stormers have long been criticised for inefficient tight play, and wayward erraticism in their results. Lock Andries Bekker believes his side has used that criticism to their own advantage.

The Cape Town side are happy to be home, at Newlands – where they will face the Lions in a Round 10 Super 14 match on Saturday..

The pre-season hype which gave way to severe criticism has now given way to a mellow lack of expectation.

Andries, the son of Springbok Hennie, says playing lock for the Stormers has helped him cope with the criticism.

“There has always been criticism of the tight five. But we use that criticism to boost us and motivate us to be even better up front.”

The lock, who towers at 2.08 metres, believes the lack of steel up front is set to be a thing of the past. Critics would point to the lack of a hardened tighthead prop as a hindrance to that, but Bekker dismisses any notion that there is anything fundamentally wrong with the Stormers game.

“We have corrected that mistake,” he told this website.

“There is nothing massively wrong with our game; it is just a matter of dealing with the little things.

“One week we make some mistakes in the line-out, the next week it is the defence in the backs…But once we iron these things out, things could get amazing for us.

“If we win all our remaining games or even drop only one of them we still can make the final four, or at least finish in the top half of the competition.”

As for Bekker’s own game, he says he is “happy with his form”.

“There are still a few things I would like to improve.

“It was great to score my first try after 27 Super rugby caps.”

Bekker scored down the touch-line in the game against the Highlanders, a game which Bekker believes cost them significantly, turning a great tour into a mediocre one.

“The Highlanders were there for the taking. It’s a pity. The tour was tough, we played top teams. That win could have made the difference.”

As for the derby this Saturday against the Lions at Newlands, Bekker says simply, “You can’t lose to South African sides in the Super 14.”

Bekker’s locking counterparts amongst the Lions have been faring well, with both Cobus Grobler and Anton van Zyl playing with great form.

Bekker agrees.

“I rate the Lions’ locks. It is going to be a tough match this Saturday.”

But if the Stormers have done the work up front that Bekker says they have, they can prepare for Saturday with a quiet confidence.

By Chris Waldburger 365 Digital

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