Carr: We are targeting Pocock
Cape Town - Stormers coach Robbie Fleck said after Saturday's 18-13 loss to the Sharks at Newlands that the first half was "some of the best rugby" he had ever seen Nizaam Carr play.
Carr had started the first two matches of the season at No 8, but he made the switch to No 6 against the Sharks as Siya Kolisi returned to the starting line-up and Sikhumbuzo Notshe lost his place.
Carr may not have been able to prevent defeat, but he was good enough to have won his coach's praise.
"I was very pleased. That’s the Nizaam that I saw two years ago when he was first thrown the challenge of playing at No 6, and it transformed his game," said Fleck.
"For me, it was a huge step up in terms of Nizaam’s performance. He was nice and physical, he had a lot of attitude and he was everywhere.
"He was involved in a lot of linkage between backs and forwards but he still did the hard graft up front.
"I know that Marcell Coetzee got the man-of-the-match award but it was pretty close between the two of them, in my opinion."
But the challenge this weekend is immense for the Stormers loosies as they go up against a David Pocock-inspired Brumbies.
But, says Carr, the Stormers have a plan for the challenge posed by the 27-year-old breakdown specialist.
"It’s going to be a big one but I think if we just run the ball onto Pocock I think we can play him out of the game so he can’t make his steals," said Carr.
"He likes pushing you down or the other person making the tackle so he can make the steal.
"We don’t want to focus too much on him, but if we can target him especially at the breakdown it will be good for us to get good, clean ball on attack."
But Carr was quick to point out that the Brumbies are about far more than just one man ... and he made that point in quite comical fashion by recalling a match the Stormers played against the Western Force in 2012.
"We don’t want to make this thing about Pocock," said Carr.
"I remember in 2012 in my first Super Rugby and Allister Coetzee asked me who I must tackle, and I said ‘Pocock’. And then he asked me who I must protect the ball from and I said ‘Pocock’.
"And then he asked Siya (Kolisi) the next question and said ‘who must you lift in the lineout?’ and Siya said ‘Pocock’.
"So it’s probably not a good idea to be too focused on one player. There are 14 other players."
Kick-off on Saturday is at 19:15.