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    Proudfoot hails Etzebeth move

    2013-05-29 07:48
    Cape Town - Stormers forwards' coach Matt Proudfoot hailed Eben Etzebeth's move from number four to number five lock as a great success on Tuesday.

    In the absence of the injured Andries Bekker, the Stormers called on the 21-year-old Springbok Etzebeth to make the line-out calls.

    "Eben took on that role well, and he came up with a few variations such as four and five-man line-outs," Proudfoot said in Bellville.

    "For a young man to understand those lineout details is something really outstanding. I am very proud of him for the fantastic job he's done."

    The Stormers scored a win over the former Super Rugby champions, the Reds, despite fielding a largely untried combination as a result of an injury crisis.

    Proudfoot said the forwards' high work-rate against the Reds last weekend was one of the reasons for their victory.

    "We fielded a tight five that really needed to spend some time with each other before one could expect them to gel effectively as a unit," he said.

    "But what the forwards did so effectively was their high work-rate, and that's something that we knew before the game.

    "The players in this pack are all hard workers, and their work on defence was superb. We still need to spend a lot of time with them to make sure the guys know the details of how we want to play."

    Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer would be particularly pleased with Etzebeth's performance, as he was on the look out for a line-out general to replace the Japan-bound Bekker.

    For the first time this season, the Stormers finished a match without suffering a fresh injury.

    As a result, the match-day 22 players were all available for their match against the Kings at Newlands this weekend.

    Proudfoot said hooker/flank Deon Fourie and lock De Kock Steenkamp trained without apparent unease and were in the frame for selection this week.

    Fourie and De Kock are the only two players to come off the injury list, which still includes Scarra Ntubeni (hamstring), props Pat Cilliers (ankle) and Frans Malherbe (ankle), Bekker (back), flank Rynhardt Elstadt (knee), eighthman Duane Vermeulen (knee), flyhalf Peter Grant (ankle) and centre Juan de Jongh (finger).

    Proudfoot said one of the reasons the Kings had done so much better than anticipated this season was because of their great work ethic.

    "The Kings have players that are prepared to work hard, and their attitude is such that they don't stand for anybody," said Proudfoot.

    "They are aggressive and they are highly competitive, which has helped their cause.

    "There are several players in the team with strong leadership skills, like Luke (Watson) and then some of their players have improved so much as the season wore on," he said.

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