Vodacom Super 14
Stormers unsung hero - Grant
Peter Grant (Gallo Images)
Cape Town – The problem with the Stormers, a wise man said some time ago, is that their fly-half is called Bash and their No 4 lock goes by the nick-name Ghost, when one actually wants it the other way round.
Since then the Stormers’ so-called “light five” have turned into a powerful tight five, while Bash (Peter Grant) has proved himself to be the real deal at fly-half.
Peter Grant remains an asset in the physical side of the game, but there is also a subtle dimension to the Stormers vice-captain’s repertoire that makes one believe that he will play a few Tests this year.
“Peter is an unsung hero in this team. He goes about his job quietly, but is very effective. His organisational skills are exceptional,” said Stormers coach Allister Coetzee.
Grant will measure himself against the Waratahs’ Wallaby star Berrick Barnes in Saturday’s Super 14 semi-final at Newlands.
Barnes is very good at creating play and his goalkicking record this year is 35 from 47 for a success ratio of 74%. Grant boasts 42 out of 52 (81%) and after Matt Giteau 51 out of 61, 84%) of the Brumbies is the most accurate goalkicker in this year’s Super 14.
Goalkicking is what opened the door to the Springboks for Morné Steyn in 2009.
“I have not focused on the Boks yet this year. I’ve had a taste and would like more,” said Grant.
“My focus is to kick well for the Stormers. With the team playing well, we’re seeing individuals making their mark.
“Goalkicking has been my undoing in the past. It’s going well, but it’s in the big games that it will really count.
“I was a little worried when I had to take over the kicking earlier this year as I hadn’t worked any harder on it than before. However, I didn’t miss in the first few games and I’m a little surprised myself.”
Stormers backline coach Robbie Fleck initially wanted to pick Grant as inside centre this year, but an injury to Willem de Waal put paid to that idea.
“One mistake last year is that we focused too much on defence and could not score enough points. We’ve worked hard at getting balance in our game,” said Grant.
The Stormers and Waratahs have both named unchanged teams.The teams:
Joe Pietersen, Gio Aplon, Jaque Fourie, Juan de Jongh, Bryan Habana, Peter Grant, Dewaldt Duvenage, Duane Vermeulen, Francois Louw, Schalk Burger (captain), Andries Bekker, Adriaan Fondse, Brok Harris, Tiaan Liebenberg, Wicus Blaauw. Substitutes: Deon Fourie, Eusebio Guinazu, Anton van Zyl, Pieter Louw, Ricky Januarie, Willem de Waal, Tim Whitehead.Waratahs:
Kurtley Beale, Lachie Turner, Rob Horne, Tom Carter, Drew Mitchell, Berrick Barnes, Luke Burgess, Ben Mowen, Phil Waugh (captain), Patrick McCutcheon, Kane Douglas, Dean Mumm, Al Baxter, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Dan Palmer. Substitutes: Damien Fitzpatrick, Jeremy Tilse, Chris Thomson, Dave Dennis, Josh Holmes, Daniel Halangahu, Rory Sidey.