Stormers

Montgomery gets the Blues for Stormers

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The Stormers have called up veteran Springbok Percy Montgomery to shore up their last line of defence against the Blues in Saturday’s Super 14 fixture at Newlands.


With first-choice fullback Conrad Jantjes on the sidelines with a calf injury Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus decided on the obvious move for a fixture in which he needs to re-establish his side’s claims as a potential 2009 semifinalist.


Part of the Stormers’ problem last week was their leaky defence which reached an all-time low when they conceded four tries against the Reds.


Three of the four tries were scored in the final 12 minutes of the match. It was the first time during Erasmus’ tenure as coach that the Stormers had as many as four tries scored against them.


The team’s defence could regain its stability if the Stormers resist the temptation of running the ball from deep options inside their own half, where if they come unstuck they never seem to have enough personnel to effectively clean out at the breakdown points.


To many observers it still remains a mystery why so many of the Stormers’ forwards take up positions in the backline.


Last week, in particular, it was not uncommon to see the likes of Andries Bekker (lock), Duane Vermeulen and Schalk Brits line up among the three-quarters when the Stormers tried to run the ball upfield.


It is going to be a tough ask from the Stormers to show a vast improvement this week as the Blues will offer a far more formidable opposition than the Reds, who had a field day last week when several of the Stormers’ counter-attacks broke down.


Despite the legacy of Montgomery’s of prolific boot Erasmus has decided that regular place-kicker and flyhalf Peter Grant will be the man to take the shots at goal. However, he’ll at least have the assurance that the back-up kicker is the most prolific in the country.


Luke Watson has been retained at No 8 after he was an 11th hour inclusion against the Reds last week, when Francois Louw was moved out on to the bench.


An interesting inclusion on the substitutes’ bench is that of Willem de Waal who has yet to taste action this season after a long injury lay-off. His kicking skills in the pivot position offers the Stormers options on attack but he lacks Grant’s ability to get the backs away at pace.


Kick-off is at 7.10pm.


Stormers:


Percy Montgomery; Tonderai Chavhanga, Gcobani Bobo, Jean De Villiers (capt), Sireli Naqelevuki; Peter Grant, Ricky Januarie; Luke Watson, Duane Vermeulen, Schalk Burger, Andries Bekker, Adriaan Fondse, Brian Mujati, Schalk Brits, JD Moller.


Replacements – Deon Fourie, Wicus Blaauw, AJ Venter, Francois Louw, Bolla Conradie, Nick Koster, Willem De Waal.


Sapa Super14.com

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