Moller grabs his chance
Hamilton - His retention in the Stormers starting team for Friday’s Super 14 clash with the Chiefs in Hamilton suggests that JD Moller grabbed the lifeline that was thrown to him last week.
Kick-off is at 09:35.
The loosehead had been out in the cold before his emergency call-up to the starting lineup for the match against the Blues following the injury to JC Kritzinger. Had it not been for the injury to Wicus Blaauw that kept him from flying out with the Stormers, Moller may not even have been a member of the touring squad.
However, he made full use of his one opportunity to show that he could regain the form that made him such an important member of the Stormers scrum before a serious injury ruled him out in the latter stages of the 2008 Super 14. Although the Stormers never dominated the Blues, the scrumming was solid and they did occasionally put pressure on their opponents.
Kritzinger returns to the squad after recovering from the injury that gave Moller his opportunity last week, but only on the bench.
Coach Allister Coetzee explained that Kritzinger’s ability to play both loosehead and tighthead and his greater mobility made him a better replacement, but he also made it clear that Moller had done what was asked of him last week.
“I believe JC will be more effective if introduced later in the game when it will be a more expansive game,” said Coetzee.
“JD showed great form last week and retains his place at loosehead prop. Dewaldt Duvenage’s injury has been managed carefully this week and he looks okay to start at scrumhalf.”
With scrumhalf Duvenage shrugging off the cramp that forced him off before the end of the 33-21 win over the Blues, Kritzinger’s return as a reserve is the only change to the 22 that did duty against the Blues, with Coetzee sticking to the policy of not tampering unduly with a winning combination.
15. Tim Nanai-Williams, 14. Lelia Masaga, 13. Richard Kahui, 12. Stephen Donald, 11. Dwayne Sweeney, 10. Mike Delany, 9. Brendon Leonard, 8. Sione Lauaki, 7. Tanerau Latimer, 6. Liam Messam (captain), 5. Culum Retallick, 4. Craig Clarke, 3. Ben Afeaki, 2. Hika Elliot, 1. Toby Smith
Substitutes: 16. Vern Kamo, 17. Nathan White, 18. Romana Graham, 19. Colin Bourke, 20. Junior Poluleuligaga, 21. Callum Bruce, 22. Jackson Willison
15. Gio Aplon, 14. Sireli Naqelevuki, 13. Jaque Fourie, 12. Juan de Jongh, 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Peter Grant, 9. Dewaldt Duvenage, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Francois Louw, 6. Schalk Burger (captain), 5. Andries Bekker, 4. Adriaan Fondse, 3. Brok Harris, 2. Tiaan Liebenberg, 1. JD Moller
Substitutes: 16. Deon Fourie, 17. JC Kritzinger 18. Anton van Zyl, 19. Pieter Louw, 20. Ricky Januarie, 21. Willem de Waal, 22. Tim Whitehead