Grant on why he struggled
Cape Town - If you consider how little he has played recently, it was probably inevitable that Peter Grant might experience some early hiccups in both his general play and in his usually immaculate goal-kicking as he heads back into highly competitive Super Rugby.
The Stormers flyhalf hardly played for the Cape side last season because of injury and the injury also prevented him from playing much for his Japanese club Kobe Steelers since then. It is a significant step up from Japanese rugby to Super Rugby, and Grant reckons he just needs some time to get used to the intensity again and regain his old confidence.
“I had a bit of ankle trouble, so I was out for seven months," he told the supersport.com website.
"I also took the opportunity to have my shoulder fixed, so I only started playing midway through the season in Japan,” said Grant after a Stormers training session at the Northerns Avonwood club ground this week.
“I was only on the bench for four or five games, and because of the foreigner policy, and with Jaque Fourie and Andries Bekker at the same club, I ended up only playing one league game and a couple of friendlies. So I’ve got to keep looking at that and remind myself that it has been a while since I’ve really played competitive rugby.
“But I’m six games into the season here now and I can feel that I am fit again and I am starting to get some form. At least I am getting some form outside of the kicking. That is still coming. The most important thing is that I am starting to enjoy my rugby, which is good news for me.”
Grant said that he had spent a lot of time practicing his goal-kicking, but practice was different to putting it together on match day. And it is recent big match experience that he has been lacking.
“I’ve been a year away from Newlands, and some doubts about my ability to do what I did in the past did creep in. I built that up in my head a bit, possibly more than I should have,” he admitted.
Grant’s wayward goal-kicking was responsible for him being shifted to fullback for the match against the Lions last week so the more reliable Demetri Catrakilis could be accommodated at No 10. However, Catrakilis sustained a blow to the mouth that required him to be replaced after just four minutes and Grant will continue at flyhalf when the Stormers play the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
The Stormers have struggled to put points on the board this season and against a Cheetahs side that tends to go big in Bloemfontein in terms of keeping the scoreboard ticking over, Grant will need to be more accurate when kicking at goal than he has been. Stormers coach Allister Coetzee reckons he will be, and feels it is just a matter of time before the Maritzburg College old boy comes right.
“You can’t be a guy with an 85% kicking record and then become a poor kicker all of a sudden,” said Coetzee.
Saturday's game at the Free State Stadium kicks off at 17:05.
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Raymond Rhule, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Rayno Benjamin, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Boom Prinsloo, 7 Jean Cook, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Caylib Oosthuizen
Substitutes: 16 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Waltie Vermeulen, 20 Teboho Mohoje, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Riaan Smith, 23 Cornal Hendricks
15. Jaco Taute, 14. Damian de Allende, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Jean de Villiers (captain), 11. Devon Williams, 10. Peter Grant, 9. Nic Groom, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Siya Kolisi, 6. Nizaam Carr, 5. Michael Rhodes, 4. Ruan Botha, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Deon Fourie, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16. Stephan Coetzee, 17. Oliver Kebble, 18. Brok Harris, 19. Jurie van Vuuren, 20. Schalk Burger, 21. Louis Schreuder, 22. Kurt Coleman, 23. Kobus van Wyk