Ankle puts Grant in doubt

2011-05-17 09:14

Stephen Nell

Cape Town - The Stormers' tour Down Under is fast turning into a major test of character.

As if the defeat to the Chiefs and Jaque Fourie's accompanying injury were not bad enough, Peter Grant looks set to miss Friday's Vodacom Super Rugby match against the Blues in Auckland with an ankle injury.

Should Grant to forced to withdraw, Lionel Cronjé will start in the Stormers' No 10 jersey, though that in itself is not a major crisis. Although the Stormers may be giving up a lot in terms of experience, Cronjé did display promise in recent games against the Lions, Sharks and Crusaders.

Grant and Fourie are both still in camp, but Danie Poolman has also linked up with the side to provide cover in the backline.

The situation could, of course, become a headache if the Stormers are forced to take on the Blues without a replacement flyhalf, but that is a problem for later in the week should it come to that.

According to coach Alister Coetzee, the Stormers had a "very productive day" as they identified the mistakes they need to rectify from the past weekend's loss. He mentioned that many of the problems were due to poor tactical kicking.

"The execution of the kicking has to be accurate. If you kick too far you make it difficult for the chasers and you have to defend for seven or eight phases before regaining possession," said Coetzee.

"It led to us having to make twice as many tackles as the Chiefs. We also conceded turnover possession and could not exert pressure with the ball in hand. The biggest problem was that we could not keep the ball in hand."

According to Verusco's statistics on, the Stormers made 210 tackles to the Chiefs' 101. Every one of the Stormers' starting forwards made 10 or more tackles, with Duane Vermeulen (22) and Schalk Burger (20) the busiest defenders.

And that after the Stormers led 20-3 at half-time - no wonder then that Coetzee on Monday said that the team was its "own enemy".

The numerous mistakes in the second half were also out of character for the Stormers. One does not usually have to doubt Grant and Andries Bekker's handling abilities and such outstanding players need not even have those errors pointed out to them and they will undoubtedly be looking to put it right.

Of course, the problem is that even a good performance may not be good enough to beat the Blues at Eden Park.

"I think there is a lot of confidence in their team and consistency is a result of that. They have been together for two seasons now. There is continuity in the coaching staff and among the players," said Coetzee.

"We cannot afford to concede possession against them. The Reds starved them of the ball on the weekend, but started making mistakes when the Blues got their hands on the ball."

The Blues lost for only the second time this season on Friday, but still gained two log points from their 37-31 defeat to the Reds. They lead the Crusaders by five points in the New Zealand Conference and are second on the overall standings behind the Reds.


  • Ryan - 2011-05-17 09:27

    Oh well, There goes our season!!

  • bullincapeto - 2011-05-17 09:29

    Personally never rated Grant due to his distance kicking out of hand.He is solid but no king Carlos!! Lionel is wet behind the ears but a much better prospect, it doesnt matter though, this battle will be won or lost up front.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-05-17 09:59

      As a Stormer groupie, I have never quite joined the Grant for Bok 10 campaign. I do believe he deserves a chance in the Tri series, but there are limitations to his game, which can't be ignored. Lionel offers quite a bit more in terms of all round game, and his massive boot certainly makes me feel safe in terms of relieving pressure. His goal kicking is currently an area of concern, but nothing major (IMHO). Lionel stepped up just fine against Lions, Sharks and Saders - and I have no doubt he will do it again. This kid is a born playmaker - and long may he rule :) These youngsters all being given the opportunity to play at this level, can only bode well for the future of WP, Stormer and yes, SA rugby. Koster, Sadie, Cronje, Coleman, Kitshoff, Ntubeni, Elstadt, Poolman, van Aswegen etc. Then you have the Kolisi's, Etsebeths, vd Walts etc etc etc bubbling under. PS: WPRFU - start protecting these chaps contracts please - dankie.

      ARRA - 2011-05-17 10:19

      Saffa-cat -I dont normally comment on the stormers fan club s comments due to the childish remarks one normally get in respond ,but I must congratulate you on taking on the Grant for president club-in remark on the above mentioned Coetzees words-the biggest problem was that we could not keep the ball in hand-to be honest that was the Bulls problem this season asswell and for all the Stormer fans claiming their loose trio is the best in SA then all I can say is -GOOD LUCK-for this Blue friday

  • my_story - 2011-05-17 09:32

    Surely Sadie will be playing off the bench?

  • Hansie - 2011-05-17 09:35

    I'm a Stormers supporter and would really like them to do well, but it will take some guts and determination from them. Saturdays loss really put them on the backfoot. With games against Blues, Bulls and Cheeta's to come, it's not going to be easy. I will support them 'till the end though.

  • KaB - 2011-05-17 09:36 may not 'personally' rate Peter Grant but the guy has the best kicking results in the tournament so far, the fact that he's one hell of a defender bodes well for him too! Grant for the Boks #10 jersey!

  • Hybrid - 2011-05-17 09:45

    I'm not a stormer supporter but I thought Grant was SA best flyhalf but after last week I have some doubts maybe it was just rustiness but I didn't like what I saw.

  • Spinnie - 2011-05-17 09:45

    Grant made out of wet tissue paper?

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-05-17 10:23

      No @Spinnie, you are referring to Papier Spies.

      MrMojoRising - 2011-05-17 19:04

      And Bruise easily Brussow

  • Chilli Boy - 2011-05-17 09:52

    Most pictures you see of Grant these days are of him sitting on the sidelines sipping Powerade. He started the season well but did his chances of Bok selection no good on Saturday. Not even the most ardent Stormers supporter should disagree.He seems injury prone too, did he go to the same school as Andre Pretorius?

      ARRA - 2011-05-17 10:22

      Onthou net POWERADE MAAK VET as jy nie oefening kry nie

  • Marx - 2011-05-17 09:52

    One word: wait for it, wait for it...............Overrated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      gooinat - 2011-05-17 09:57

      From what I hear,your performance with Marcell last night was also overrated:)

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-05-17 10:21

      @Marx - O-V-E-R-R-A-T-E-D : the correct spelling for this term is: M-E-I-S-I-E-K-I-N-D or one can use the Oxford spelling which is: S-P-I-E-S.

      Raka13 - 2011-05-17 10:49

      @Marx - Grant might be OVERrated in your mind- but you still rate him though? Meisiekind and Spies......ONE HIT WONDERS

      Brannas - 2011-05-17 12:17

      @SAFFA-CAT. Wynand Olivier overrated????? Five tries in 2 consecutive games and you call him overrated. now I know for sure you are watching rugby with blinkers on. If JDV scored those tries, your mouth without front teeth would have not been shut for weeks.Get a grip pal. WO is the best in SA by far.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-05-17 12:22

      @Brannas - I see you have moved to the cough syrup now.....Brannas budget blown until payday? Mate, it is your right to believe that Meisiekind is the best centre in SA, it is also your right to believe in the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. I am in a generous mood today, so I will not crush any of your beliefs or dreams.

      Northern Stormer - 2011-05-17 12:33

      I also do not like to comment on these reports due to the constant verbal abuse uttered by certain (always the same caracters) - give all players an even chance irrespective for which team he plays. One comment below was that WO scored 5 tries in two games and is certainly the best SA has - well maybe the correct stats is 5 tries in a season and a half (15 games ???) and the best in SA after - (JdV,Juan de Jongh,Meyer Bosman,Doppies,Robert Ebersohn,Stefan Watermeyer, Strauss (FS),AdJ, etc etc etc) - that is more realistice and a true reflection of his status. He will however be in the RWC squad due to quota restrictions as laid down by "Women in Rugby - Pretoria East Branch)

  • Shark_4_Life - 2011-05-17 10:05

    Good news, Stormers could actually win this weekend.

      Hannes van der Linde - 2011-05-17 11:12

      That's how I feel as well, but no January please.

  • cj - 2011-05-17 10:30

    Relieved to see I'm not the only one ( being a Stormers supporter myself) who thinks Grant is very, very overrated. Not only poor kicking out of hand, but no ability to read and dominate a game, even when the forwards are providing good ball after good ball. Looks like a rabbit in the headlights most of the time. Amazed to read both Naas Botha and Joel Stransky rate him as the Bok flyhalf. Steyn has been slightly off form but has class written all over him.

      Raka13 - 2011-05-17 10:47

      Amazed? Amuzing that you can have doubt in their selection, they were both excellent nr10's and I would presume they (especially Naas) know what they are talking about?

      Mike@CapeT - 2011-05-17 11:10 are clearly referring to one bad second half performance. Generally speaking, this season Grant has been very composed, he does read a game well and his kicking at posts has been sublime. His kicking out of hand is his biggest weakness but has improved tremendously since returning from Japan. Of the established flyhalves, and I include Lambie, I believe Grant, on current form, has the edge. I understand Saffa's concerns, however, I see little in the alternatives at the present time. I agree that there are some up and coming youngsters...I like Cronje and Aswegan and, for all the criticism heaped on Jantjies, he has huge potential. Sias Eberson is another who is showing great form currently. All these 'potential superstars' don't have the experience, at the moment, to step into test match rugby.

  • jvscooter - 2011-05-17 11:01

    Grant will be a great reserve for Morne Steyn as the fields in NZ will require to diffrent type of players. Please remember who was the scrumhalf for the stormers FAT ASS Ricky Januarie how can you produce with a scrummie like that not even Morne will perform. GO STORMERS!!!!!!!!!! GET INJURED RICKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Northern Stormer - 2011-05-17 12:45

      If the Stormers want to win this weekend then they need 22 dedicated players with their eyes on the first goal - a place in the play-offs !! They will need all the support they can get and maybe just maybe Jean as captain to relieve Scalla to play his game and not concentrate on captaincy as he is not a good captain at all. Irrespective of which No 10 is playing, it will be a great spectacle and a season tunaround game for both teams - Best of luck Stormers and get back on track !!!!

      Howzitekse - 2011-05-17 13:46

      jvscooter, Januarie had a fantastic game, and while he was on, Grant was OK. Grant had his brainfreeze while Duvenhage was on 2nd half. I take it you did not even see the game, and just a member of the Ignorant anti-Januarie Clan.

  • Davey - 2011-05-17 11:24

    It is a blessing. At this level, you need a flyhalf capable of relieving pressure with good line kicks. Of all flyhalves I've ever seen playing, Grant is the worst in this regard. This deficiency puts huge pressure on the forwards in every game.

  • Gorilla - 2011-05-17 11:26

    That's not good news for the stormers... they need that oke.

  • al_bundy - 2011-05-17 12:10

    Alister Coetzee ever the optimist.. ("productive day"?). Grant will definitely not be missed.

  • coenie.koch - 2011-05-17 15:15

    No problem playing Lionel. He must just not wait till he's 3 metres aways from the apponent's tryline, and then give a simple kick again!! He had an open tryline ahead of him in the game against the saders with only Chris Jack in front of him. Should have gone for the try instead of kicking.

  • MrMojoRising - 2011-05-17 19:03

    Ag c'mon! Ek moet se, ek raak bietjie nervous nou . . .

  • Crusader Man - 2011-05-17 22:54

    This is so much more interesting reading than getting abusive comments from the few sour Bulls supporters like LLoyd... No cups etc... Leave the rugby to be played on the day.. Shame Grant wont be playing , he needs a few games under his belt to get upto the speed of the game.. Which is why Crusaders took Carter off after 50 min.. 1st game back in 6 weeks.. He did look real good 1st game back which is a good sign for NZ rugby.. But then he is world class... Don't think Grant is.. Has he played for SA before?

  • Liam - 2011-05-18 03:24

    he has one bad game and everyone is calling him overated?? correct me if im wrong, but was peter grant not the unsung hero of the stormers run to the final last year?? WE NEED HIM, AND SOUTH AFRICAN RUGBY SHOULD GET RID OF KAKA STEYN AND GIVE GRANT A CHANCE. WE NEED FLAIR IN OUR BACK LINE. GRANT IS THE ONE TO DO THE JOB.. GRANT IS WORLD CLASS!!!

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