One more chance for Stormers




Coach Kobus van der Merwe has kept faith in the Stormers side that grossly under-performed last week. But he could run out of patience soon.

The team that will run out against the Western Force in a Round Two Super 14 match at Newlands on Friday is virtually unchanged, barring the omission of Selborne Boome – apparently for a stomach virus.

But closer inspection of the invitational side named for a curtain-raiser trial match reveals the presence of Boome, starting for a side that comprises the remainder of the Stormers squad.

Boome, who had an exceptionally quiet game last week in a match which saw the Stormers fail to win even half of their lineouts, could be out of favour in Cape Town.

Meanwhile, Van der Merwe left no illusions as to his expectations from his side.

“The guys realise they have under-performed. But it’s important not to panic.

“We know what they can do, and we have shown faith in our original selection.

“I am convinced that it will go better for us this week, but if not, then changes will have to be made.”

The Stormers tight five were once again under scrutiny after failing to make any impression last week. Van der Merwe noted that his side had only won three set phases in the Cheetahs territory, and assured that attention had been given to that facet of the game.

“We have looked at our first phase performance as well as our physicality at the breakdown. On Tuesday, we held a high-intensity training session. We have covered that ground and we do expect a great improvement.”

Captain Luke Watson said his side would be “motivated and inspired” and that they were hungry to redeem themselves.

“It is important to note that it is early on in the competition and there are six other sides in exactly the same situation.

“It is important we maintain rhythm and consistency at this stage.”

Watson also noted the inspiration playing at home would provide.

“Newlands is such a special place. There is so much history and tradition here that one can’t help but be motivated.”

Stormers: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Breyton Paulse, 13 Corne Uys, 12 Jean De Villiers, 11 Conrad Jantjes, 10 Naas Olivier, 9 Bolla Conradie, 8 Joe Van Niekerk, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Luke Watson (Capt), 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Gerrie Britz, 3 Eddie Andrews, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 JD Moller
Replacements: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Francois Van Der Merwe, 19 Robbie Diack, 20 JP Joubert, 21 Brent Russell, 22 De Wet Barry

Date: 9 February 2007
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Kick-off: 18.00 (16.00)
Referee: Lyndon Bray (New Zealand)
Touch judges: Vinny Munro (New Zealand), Linston Manuels (South Africa)
Television match official: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

365 Digital

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