Gavin Rich - SuperSport
Habana impresses in new role
Johannesburg - Springbok wing Bryan Habana appeared to impress his coach Allister Coetzee in his new role of outside centre in the DHL Stormers’ 38-13 win over the Kings in a Super Rugby warm-up fixture in Port Elizabeth at the weekend.
Habana was tried in the No13 jersey as another Springbok, Juan de Jongh, who is expected to be the Stormers first choice outside centre this year, was out with an injury (sore jaw). According to reports on the game, the Stormers impressed on attack against a Kings team determined to tackle them to a standstill, and Habana fitted in well in the midfield.
Coetzee said that Habana combined well with skipper Jean de Villiers and made a couple of telling contributions on attack that made him look the part.
“I am very happy with how he played. He just made one defensive lapse, from which they scored, but it was in the last minute of the game,” said Coetzee.
However that may have been understandable as it does take time to get used to the defensive requirements at outside centre, a position which is a crucial part of the Stormers’ defensive system.
“The good thing was his form on attack. He was really penetrative and he ran good lines in the midfield, and is a good option to use there should we need to call on him during the Super Rugby season.”
The Stormers were held in the first half but turned on their attacking game in the second as they sharpened their play in the final dress-rehearsal before the opening Super Rugby fixture against the Hurricanes at Newlands on 25 February.