Vodacom Super Rugby
Stormers to unleash De Jongh?
Cape Town - The Cheetahs' defensive system may prompt the Stormers into picking Juan de Jongh at inside centre for Saturday's Vodacom Super Rugby match against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.
"A player with a step is a great foil for a rush defence. It's definitely a possibility," said Stormers assistant coach Matt Proudfoot. The team will be announced on Wednesday afternoon.
Proudfoot, however, was sticking mainly to his portfolio as forwards coach as the Stormers' lineout was one of the major problem areas in Saturday's 16-19 defeat to the Bulls.
"We had a plan for the Bulls with their contesting policy, but made mistake after mistake. Both our hookers (Tiaan Liebenberg and Deon Fourie) had a bad throw, while Brok (Harris) and Rynhardt (Elstadt) each missed a call. We spent a lot of time on it (at training on Tuesday)," said Proudfoot.
The Stormers did, however, handle the Bulls' physical onslaught well enough and it's unlikely that there will be major changes to their pack.
Injuries to last week's halfback pairing of Ricky Januarie and Kurt Coleman means that Dewaldt Duvenage and a fit Peter Grant are expected to wear the No 9 and 10 jerseys respectively.
De Jongh's inclusion could be a smart tactical move. He also made an impact when he was sent on against the Bulls.
"The Cheetahs have a confident attitude and are prepared to take risks to get rewards. They are tough opponents and use their rush defence to apply pressure and force you into errors," said Proudfoot.
"Ashley Johnson, Sarel Pretorius and Robert Ebersohn are all playing excellent rugby and the Cheetahs' front row is probably the form one in South Africa."
Supporters of both teams will be concerned about the news that Marius Jonker will referee the game and Pro Legoete will be an assistant referee.
The Cheetahs recently had a taste against the Sharks of the kind of one-sided treatment that Jonker dished out against Western Province in a Currie Cup league game in 2009 - coincidentally in Bloemfontein.
Legoete was also involved as assistant referee in the recent debacle at Loftus Versfeld where he pointed out a "headbutt" to referee Craig Joubert.
Waratahs lock Pat O'Connor was wrongfully red-carded.
Proudfoot is not concerned about who the match officials will be.
"We had Marius as an assistant referee at the weekend. Like all of us referees also make mistakes. The best way to regain your confidence is to get back into it quickly."