Stormers face the big axe



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Stormers coach Kobus van der Merwe is set to wield a big axe as he looks to resurrect his team’s faltering season after just two weeks of the 2007 Super 14 campaign.

The Cape Town-based franchise is still winless and tryless in the tournament – after losing 27-9 to the Cheetahs in Round One and then putting in an even more dismal display in going down 22-3 to the Western Force at Newlands last Friday.

Van der Merwe confirmed that he would be looking at personnel changes, following his team’s abysmal showing against the Western Force.

“We are going to look at that [personnel changes],” Van der Merwe said.

“I am not going to mention any individuals, but we are going to look at and assess the video footage first before we make clear decisions on where we are going.”

The Stormers are desperately in need of a boost ahead of their Round Three encounter with the Chiefs on Friday, also at Newlands.

“Our performance against the Western Force was unacceptable,” Van der Merwe added.

“We can’t expect to win through game breakers only. We will first have to do the dirty work. It is important that we gain good first-phase possession and momentum.”

It is in the under-performing tight five where most of the changes could take place.

Springbok prop Eddie Andrews is not up to scratch and Van der Merwe could look at young Brock Harris. Tiaan Liebenberg may also replace Schalk Brits at hooker, as the coach looks for more grunt in the pack.

Last week Van der Merwe axed lock Selborne Boome and started with Andries Bekker and Gerrie Britz in the second row – which still did not have the desired effect.

Joe van Niekerk’s form at number eight has also not met expectations.

It appears there are also a recall on the cards for more physical backline players like De Wet Barry and Peter Grant.


365 Digital

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