Brumbies have to be careful
Cape Town - The Brumbies, under the watchful eye of referee Stuart Berry, will have to tread carefully at the breakdown on Saturday night.
That is the view of Stormers coach Allister Coetzee ahead of this weekend’s Newlands clash.
Coetzee said at Thursday’s team announcement that he was aware of the Brumbies’ prowess at the breakdown, making special mention of David Pocock, but added that he does not expect them to be given much leniency.
In 2014 Brumbies boss Stephen Larkham defended his side’s techniques at the breakdown after they had come under heavy fire from rugby referees and critics for killing the ball and slowing down play. Coetzee remembers this, and warned the Australian visitors that they would have to be on their best behaviour on Saturday.
“He (Pocock) is an experienced player. He’s one of the best, sort of, whatever they call it … pilfers, poachers or stealers. We’ve got a hell of a lot of respect for him,” said Coetzee, adding that Scott Fardy and Stephen Moore would also have major roles to play.
“I’m happy that Stuart Berry is an experienced referee and he has got quite a good picture at the breakdown,” Coetzee continued.
“I don’t know if you guys recall and article from last year or the year before when Larkham spoke about them not being cheaters ... I read that when I was overseas and I wondered why he had referred to that."
"There was a lot of heat on referees at the breakdown then, obviously, and I think there was a school of thought that they got away with murder at the breakdown."
“That’s why I’m happy that a referee like Stuart Berry has the capabilities of having a look at it.”
The Stormers will make a late decision on the availability of centre Juan de Jongh as he looks to recover from a hip pointer injury.
Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:05.