Jean: Chiefs still benchmark

    2013-03-07 12:26
    Cape Town - Stormers skipper Jean de Villiers has indicated the Chiefs are still the benchmark for performance and style ahead of their Super Rugby clash in Cape Town this weekend.

    According to the website, the Chiefs have arrived in South Africa after an unblemished start to the season with comfortable wins over the Highlanders away and the Cheetahs at home.

    That's in stark contrast to the highly-touted Stormers who have had a horror start, losing two local derbies: 25-17 to the Bulls and 12-6 to the Sharks.

    However, Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has kept faith with his players by naming an unchanged starting side to play the Chiefs and try to turn their season around.

    De Villiers, the vastly experienced Springboks midfielder, admits it's a challenge countering the New Zealand style after two stifling matches first-up.

    "This week it's about adapting to the way we'll be challenged," De Villiers said.

    "The Chiefs are good at what they do and their play is both entertaining and clever. They don't kick too much back and they keep up the pressure on their opponents.

    "Once we strike a balance between balance and attack, we'll also be producing an entertaining brand of rugby."

    Coetzee agreed: "We've just come off two real physical battles and it's going to be a physical battle out there on Saturday.

    "This week we're playing against the champions and the battle will be even more uphill.

    "By retaining the same team, we're giving some of the injured players an extra week for rehabilitation."

    The only changes Coetzee has made are on his bench.

    Fit-again Springbok hooker Tiaan Liebenberg comes in for Martin Bezuidenhout and Dewaldt Duvenage replaces Louis Schreuder as the back-up halfback.

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