Rugby and more Rugby!

The Rugby Championship and Currie Cup are in full swing. Who are the early title favourites? Have your say on our Forum!

LIVE

    Stormers: Grant lurks invitingly

    2013-02-27 15:38
    Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer
    Cape Town - Deft man-management by Stormers coach Allister Coetzee means that both Elton Jantjies and Peter Grant could offer key contributions at flyhalf during the Super Rugby derby against the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

    As expected, left-footed Highveld recruit Jantjies is given an opportunity to make up for his decidedly imprecise showing in the opening-round defeat to the Bulls, staying in the starting line-up even as the street-smart Grant inches his way back toward seizure of the No 10 jersey by finding a rapid spot on the bench following completion of his Japanese commitments.

    The move undoubtedly cranks up the pressure on Jantjies, although at the same time the incumbent will probably be relieved to have kept his berth and determined to perform much closer to known all-round potential.

    Still, the on-loan Lions favourite did not yet seem to have fully restored his mojo off the kicking tee at Wednesday’s Bellville training session - where a stiff, swirling breeze hardly helped matters - and significantly the Stormers are keeping their options open in that area for the Kings Park tussle.

    “We still need to decide on that (place-kicking),” Coetzee told a media briefing afterwards.

    “Elton has been striking the ball well but Joe Pietersen (starting at fullback in the absence of injured Jaco Taute - Sport24) is also a very accurate and successful goal-kicker; we will make the decision later in the week.”

    Just having the 28-year-old Grant’s unflappability and rich knowledge of the Stormers’ culture among the match-day 22 on Saturday - he is around a dozen shy of the 100-caps mark - will be a psychological comfort for the team.

    Asked by Sport24 whether Grant was ready to play a meaningful role if required, considering his late return to the 2013 mix, Coetzee said: “Peter’s conditioning is 100 percent; his match fitness and personal fitness are great.

    “The big thing was for him to get out on the (training) park this week and get the synergy back, understand our needs.

    “It’s great to have him back in the team environment and Peter’s been very (supportive) to Elton as well.”

    Should Pietersen be entrusted with goal-kicking responsibility, at least initially, Jantjies will be freed up to focus more on his tactical game.

    Yet Grant, who brings a fearlessness and directness to the flyhalf channel, will be an attractive proposition in the second half if the Stormers are either playing second fiddle or under the cosh protecting, say, a small lead.

    The Durban-born and Maritzburg College-educated player also has a habit of raising his game against the Sharks.

    Last season, for instance, he also arrived back to the Stormers camp after the start of Super Rugby hostilities, yet was highly influential - upon introduction in the 46th minute, in place of Gary van Aswegen - in the Capetonians squeezing out a 15-12 Newlands triumph over those very foes on March 3.

    His awkward-angled, last-gasp penalty ensured all four match points for the relieved home outfit after the teams had been locked at 12-12 and that had looked like being a fairer result.

    The Stormers would be very happy if history repeated itself.

    Teams:

    Sharks:


    15. Louis Ludik, 14. JP Pietersen, 13. Paul Jordaan, 12. Francois Steyn (captain), 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Patrick Lambie, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Franco van der Merwe, 4. Anton Bresler, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Craig Burden, 1. Tendai Mtawarira

    Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Wiehahn Herbst, 18. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 19. Jacques Botes, 20. Charl McLeod, 21. Meyer Bosman, 22. Odwa Ndungane

    Stormers:


    15. Joe Pietersen, 14. Gio Aplon, 13. Jean de Villiers (captain), 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Elton Jantjies, 9. Nic Groom, 8. Duane Vermeulen (vice-captain), 7. Rynhardt Elstadt, 6. Siya Kolisi, 5. Andries Bekker, 4. De Kock Steenkamp, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Deon Fourie, 1. Steven Kitshoff

    Substitutes: 16. Martin Bezuidenhout, 17. Pat Cilliers, 18. Don Armand, 19. Nizaam Carr, 20. Louis Schreuder, 21. Peter Grant, 22. Gerhard van den Heever

    *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
    38 comments
    Add your comment
    Comment 0 characters remaining
    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    Most Read
    Commented

    Results

    02 August 2014
    26 July 2014
    19 July 2014
    12 July 2014
    11 July 2014
    06 July 2014
    05 July 2014
    04 July 2014
    28 June 2014
    27 June 2014
    31 May 2014
    30 May 2014
    24 May 2014
    23 May 2014
    18 May 2014
    17 May 2014
    16 May 2014
    11 May 2014
    10 May 2014
    09 May 2014
    03 May 2014
    02 May 2014
    26 April 2014
    25 April 2014
    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

    Opinion Poll

    Does the Waratahs' Super Rugby victory give the Wallabies an edge heading into the Rugby Championship?

    Monday Quiz Madness!

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