Vodacom Super 14

Stormers prop themselves up

2010-05-25 22:37
JC Kritzinger (Gallo Images)
Stephen Nell

Cape Town – The Stormers are considering picking two props on their substitute’s bench for Saturday’s Super 14 final against the Bulls in Soweto.

Matt Proudfoot, forwards coach of the Cape side, confirmed on Tuesday evening that there is a strong possibility that JC Kritzinger will be available.

“His chances are looking good and he trained an entire session with us. We may pick two props and opt for a split of five forwards and two backs on the bench,” said Proudfoot.

“We’ll make that decision on Wednesday morning as soon as we know how JC’s body reacted to training.”

The Stormers may decide to drop Argentine prop Eusebio Guinazu and pick Kritzinger and Moller together as reserves. That will ensure they have back-up for the tighthead and loosehead positions.

Should Stormers coach Allister Coetzee make that call on Wednesday, it will be interesting to see which back he omits from the bench.

Ricky Januarie, Willem de Waal and Tim Whitehead were the backs on the bench last week.

The Bulls have again picked five forwards on their bench this week, though two of them – Derick Kuün and Pedrie Wannenburg – are loose forwards.

“Bandise Maku is one of the best scrumming hookers in the country and then they normally send on a No 4 lock and two loose forwards as substitutes. It’s virtually a new pack that plays for the last 30 minutes,” said Proudfoot.

If Western Province and the Stormers’ performances of the past year are taken as a yardstick, it’s clear that the Capetonians will be able to stand their ground physically.

Last year, for example, WP scored an impressive pushover try against the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup.

Neither of the teams were at full strength then and the Bulls have also subsequently been strengthened by Gary Botha at hooker.

Proudfoot has noticed a technical change in the Bulls’ scrumming this year.

“Their forwards coach, Johann van Graan, has a technical background. He would have sat down with the senior players and discussed the issue. There is definitely a technical change,” said Proudfoot.

“Gary would also have brought focus to the pack.”

Proudfoot does not expect the Bulls to collapse the scrums like the Waratahs did last week.

“The Aussies always try something and we had to re-set our scrum on numerous occasions. It was aimed at tiring us out,” said Proudfoot.

“The Bulls are accurate and like to scrum. They don’t want to waste energy. It’s more of battle of attrition with them.”

Read more on:    stormers  |  super 14  |  super 14 final

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