Send us your Two Oceans pics!

Will you be taking part in the Two Oceans Marathon? If so, send your pics to sport@news24.co.za - and we'll include you in our gallery!

LIVE

    Fourie to counter Sharks’ pace

    2012-07-25 15:21
    Post a comment
    Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer
    Cape Town - Had Duane Vermeulen been able to return to the Stormers’ ranks for Saturday’s Super Rugby semi-final derby against the Sharks at Newlands here, the battle between the respective loose trios would have thrown up an interesting clash of styles.

    Certainly a Stormers combination of Siya Kolisi, Rynhardt Elstadt and a suitably fit-again Vermeulen would have been particularly handsomely equipped for the physical side of the keenly-anticipated showdown.

    They might have been tipped to shade that area, especially if the five men immediately in front of them were doing enough to ensure front-foot status.

    But with a timely comeback after months on the sidelines finally deemed just too risky and premature for the big unit on Wednesday, the admirably adaptable Deon Fourie instead earns a second start in the key No 8 position, after a convincing “debut” against the Melbourne Rebels less than a fortnight ago.

    What the diminutive whippet’s retention undoubtedly does is provide the Stormers with a counter-measure to the expected, notably mobile loose forward combination of captain Keegan Daniel, Marcell Coetzee and Ryan Kankowski for the opposition.

    Their dynamism as a unit in recent weeks has been an essential influencer of the Sharks’ broader vitality: all three boast healthy doses of X-factor in open play but have pitched up in a big way, too, in the collision and tackling departments.

    Had Vermeulen - especially given his chronic lack of game-time - been rushed back into combat for the Stormers, it might have been reasonable to expect the visitors to boast a collective edge for back-row pace.

    The retention of Fourie, though, handily redresses that a little from a Stormers point of view.

    Asked by Sport24 at Wednesday’s press briefing whether Fourie keeping his spot might serve as a bit of a blessing in disguise, coach Allister Coetzee replied: “They are completely different players, of course.

    “But what I can say is that Deon is a really energetic player; he’s all over the field. He has a great engine and is a really hard worker ... also very good on the ground.

    “Duane brings other (attributes) but we’ve coped up to now in his absence throughout the season. It’s another opportunity for Deon to show his versatility in quite an intense and high-quality game.

    “We’re taking it one day at a time with Duane; he’s shown great progress but to play with this intensity, at this time of the season ... it’s perhaps just not the right thing to do, to push any player.

    “I’ve said it from the word go, I believe in playing 100 percent fit players, and Deon was man of the match in our last game (against the Rebels); I’m sure he can do the job for us again.”

    Teams:

    Stormers: 15. Joe Pietersen, 14. Gio Aplon, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Jean de Villiers (captain), 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Peter Grant, 9. Dewaldt Duvenage, 8. Deon Fourie, 7. Rynhardt Elstadt, 6. Siya Kolisi, 5. Andries Bekker, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Brok Harris, 2. Tiaan Liebenberg, 1.  Steven Kitshoff

    Substitutes: 16. Frans Malherbe, 17. Deon Carstens, 18. De Kock Steenkamp, 19. Don Armand, 20. Louis Schreuder, 21. Burton Francis, 22. Gerhard van den Heever

    Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Keegan Daniel (captain), 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

    Substitutes: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Steven Sykes, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Jacques Botes, 21 Odwa Ndungane, 22 Riaan Viljoen

    *Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing


    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    75 comments
    Add your comment
    Comment 0 characters remaining
    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk

    Fixtures

    25 April 2014
    • Blues v Waratahs, Auckland 07:35
    • Brumbies v Chiefs, Canberra 09:40
    • Sharks v Highlanders, Durban 19:10
    26 April 2014
    • Hurricanes v Reds, Wellington 09:35
    • Western Force v Bulls, Perth 11:40
    • Cheetahs v Stormers, Bloemfontein 17:05
    02 May 2014
    • Blues v Reds, Auckland 09:35
    • Melbourne Rebels v Sharks, Melbourne 11:40

    Results

    19 April 2014
    18 April 2014
    12 April 2014
    11 April 2014
    05 April 2014
    04 April 2014
    29 March 2014
    28 March 2014
    22 March 2014
    21 March 2014
    15 March 2014
    14 March 2014
    08 March 2014
    07 March 2014
    01 March 2014
    28 February 2014
    23 February 2014
    22 February 2014
    21 February 2014
    15 February 2014

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts

    EXPERT OPINION

    “The Sharks as SA’s lone playoffs side for the first time in Super Rugby’s conference format is a fair possibility, warns Rob Houwing.”

    Opinion Poll

    While the Sharks look like sure winners of the SA Super Rugby Conference, the "battle" for the wooden spoon could well develop into a four-team race. Who eventually props up the table?

    Monday Quiz Madness!

    TAKE THE QUIZ
    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.