Allister: Why I changed my No 8

2012-07-11 22:19

Cape Town - The No 8 berth has been a cursed one for the Stormers this year, for injury-related and other reasons.

Both Duane Vermeulen and Nizaam Carr have fallen prey to long-term injury while staffing it, flank Siya Kolisi has been tried there, and now Canadian import Jebb Sinclair cannot continue in the role for the crucial playoffs phase of Super Rugby because SANZAR has declared him ineligible for the finals series.

So desperate times call for desperate measures and Deon Fourie, the livewire hooker who can also be very comfortable as an open-side tearaway and pilferer, will be given a new challenge in the spot against the Melbourne Rebels at Newlands on Saturday.

Initial speculation had been that coach Allister Coetzee would stick with Sinclair, who has begun to look more and more assured in his short tenure with the franchise, for this game, but with the playoffs in mind he has instead taken a pro-active route by gauging Fourie’s suitability to the role and having Sinclair available as a bench option in his
Capetonian swansong.

Although a chance remains that the rugged Vermeulen may yet be fit again for a likely home semi-final more than two weeks further up the road, Fourie has a chance to impress in a loose trio also comprising Kolisi in his more suitable No 6 shirt and Rynhardt Elstadt at blindside flank.

“With the news of Jebb not qualifying we just felt we needed to look at all other options we possess,” Coetzee explained at media briefing on Wednesday.

“The first thing is to get your best players on the field ... we’ve seen how well Deon Fourie has performed over the last couple of games, and now Tiaan Liebenberg can start again (at hooker) as well, with Deon still out there.

“Obviously we’ve tried Siya at No 8 but both he and Rynhardt have played consistently at six and seven so they have established a bit of a combination - I would like to keep it like that, and then see how Deon adapts at No 8.

“He’s a skilful player, and likes to be out first, so at eight he can be first out of the scrums and the same applies off lineouts. We have to try it now, before the playoffs start and (provided) we get there ... we still have to work for at least a point to get (a bye into a home semi-final).”

Another blessing of Fourie’s versatility is that the Stormers, knowing his specialist capabilities at hooker if required, can afford to field as many as two props on the bench, and have done so with both Brok Harris and Springbok veteran Deon Carstens deployed there on Saturday.

Their scrum has experienced some problems in recent matches so having the luxury of potential fresh legs at both loosehead and tighthead is a comfort.

“Deon also understands the engagement of the scrum, being a hooker,” Coetzee said. “We’ll see how it goes - he has all the attributes to do the job for us. The proof of the pudding is in the eating this weekend.”

Asked by Sport24 whether it was hoped Fourie, not the tallest timber at No 8 considering his mere 1.78m, would take some kind of leaf from the Keegan Daniel book - the in-form Sharks and Bok loose forward has shown his own effectiveness in that capacity despite being fairly short himself - Coetzee said: “One of Deon’s big assets is his quickness and like (Daniel) that is a big plus off the base of a scrum.”

Captain Jean de Villiers quipped: “Allister (a former scrumhalf) will never say anything bad about a short guy.”

And the smiling coach quickly countered, not without foundation, by pointing out that “Deon brings some attitude too”.

Pretoria-born Fourie’s known dynamism and bubbly self-confidence will at least be handy start-up tools as he tries to add a new string to his blossoming bow ...


15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Deon Fourie, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5  Andries Bekker, 4 De Kock Steenkamp, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16 Brok Harris, 17 Deon Carstens, 18 Quinn Roux, 19 Jebb Sinclair, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Gerhard van den Heever


*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing


  • tumisang.kolobe - 2012-07-11 22:57

    If there is one coach who always has a plan is Alister, Such a class coach......

      sean.lambie.3 - 2012-07-11 23:05

      Yawn !!!

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-11 23:05

      pity he has no trophies

      frans.visserdsb - 2012-07-11 23:48

      Actually tom - he has 2 conference cups, While Frans Ludeke has none currently.

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-11 23:49

      no such thing as a conference cup bud - thats like the mandela plate and the bledisloe and the mbeki trophy and the OR tambo waterford crsytal ad nauseam

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-11 23:50

      i'd bet old alli would sub both his connie cups for just a sniff of the silvo frans uses to shine his super trophies

      seanb09 - 2012-07-11 23:54

      Tom, stop taking so many steroids, its clouding your brain, and hold off on the selftan, u look like a jerseyshore wannabee. Stomers!

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-11 23:57

      chaan u wish u looked as well groomed as me bud. u check that babe in my profile pic? sandra bollock lookalike chaan. i like the self tan, doesnt make me gay bud, what u talking about? im straight bud. and its natural testo found in horses bud so its herbal, dont talk about stuff u dont know about

      sean.lambie.3 - 2012-07-12 00:02

      @Frans , enjoy the mickey mouse cup because that is all you gonna see this year !!

      ChrisinOz294 - 2012-07-12 00:02

      @tom.turdis. Het die plaat bietjie vasgehaak? Try 'n nuwe deuntjie asseblief. Just so you know: It used to bother Stormers supporters a bit in the past. But these days we just laugh at you when you make that comment, because we know you have nothing better to say. Nothing like: we whipped your @$$es twice in the season.

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-12 00:03

      actualy sean bud, respect where its due, nice flossie u got there boet

      seanb09 - 2012-07-12 00:03

      hahahaha omg how vain are you? u look like an orange, and no ive definitely seen hotter, like my girlfriend, and she thinks you look like an orange too. go look for a job in jerseyshore. ull fit right in. steroids make your penis small, i see its worked on you

      john.edwards.733450 - 2012-07-12 00:11

      Wonder who the hot Lesbian is ? Tumi , Jake was the same way! He had this plan I was particulary impressed with called the Eddie Jones plan.

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-12 00:18

      whats jersey shore boet? i am an interior designer bud, damn successful too drive a BM bud. kompressor. ur girlfriend thinks i check like an orange? hard on the outside sweet and juicy on the inside bud. she wanna play with my peel bud? what vain u talking about bud? the only vains i check are in my arms from being so ripped unlike u pencil neck. yeh my penis got smaller from testo bud, from 9 inches to 8. life sucks

      seanb09 - 2012-07-12 00:27

      you drive a BM! wow im surprised you can spell BM. well done. and who doesnt drive a BM, i drive a BM too, wow we have something in common unfortunately. check ya at the gym china, sweet boet. STOOOOOOOOOOORMERSSSSS

      john.edwards.733450 - 2012-07-12 00:48

      funny stuff .. not even a vapor trail

      smellarat.smith - 2012-07-12 00:51

      "Cup in the cabinet" echo retards seem to propose that past accomplishments make up for current failure. Sharks and Stormers are the top performing teams in SA at this juncture in time. I think the Sharks are on the up, and represent our best chance to lift the S15 cup this year. But who cares who wins as long as a Saffa team emerges on top. Every Saffa franchise has my blood brothers in it.

      sean.bagley.50 - 2012-07-12 00:51

      Eerder speel Kolisi op nommer 8 posisie en Fourie op nommer 6. Kolisi het nie sleg gedoen tot dusver op 8 nie en 6 is veel makliker om te leer en aan te pas as wat nommer 8 is wanneer jy van hakker af kom, veral as jou skrum nie vorentoe beweeg nie.Fourie is n goeie haker,so sterkte oumaat vir die losvoorspeler posisie.

      jason.children - 2012-07-12 07:42

      WOW im glad i missed this conversation last night! Self tan flossie's and BMW Kompressors....................hang on a second BMW Kompressor?????? Im sure only Merc make Kompressors!! Dont they? bwahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

      lionel.kemm.9 - 2012-07-12 07:48

      Tom the terd hitting himself with a plank again:):):)

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-12 07:57

      Bud BM means Mercedes, it's called an abbreviation bud, get with the program

      danie.fick.98 - 2012-07-12 08:15

      Hahahahaha Tom,jy redeneer nes n passer,al om jou eie gat!! Word groot man,jys n joke!!

      bushpigeventsbar - 2012-07-12 09:34

      tom.tardis - Please explain to me ( only a lowly STORMER supporter) where on earth does BM stand for Mercedes , not on this planet you steroid chowing piece of rubbish !!!

      jono.qmann - 2012-07-12 09:44

      tom the retardis strikes again lol!!! Tom when you dont know something google it first and then if you still dont know something then you more than welcome to ask us stormers or shark fans! o and ive also seen some toothless capies driving a "BM".

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-12 10:41

      okes whats the beef here buds? besides my biceps? BM boet everyone knows it means mercedes. kompressor baby kompressor. 6 series bud. i dont chow steroid chaan. its from horses bud how can it be steroids, its natural boet. harsh to call me a piece of rubbish bud. harsh boet. feel swak now hey.

      jono.qmann - 2012-07-12 16:44

      the last time i checked merc dont have series cars and if i am not mistaken the only nicknames ive heard for a mercedes is merc and maybe mercedes bend! thats about it! i think you need to check those catamans your are taken! might be horse poopoo! but listen my need to check yourself before you reck yourself MY BRU! you okes!

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-12 17:26

      ag boet what do u know? just give up while u r behind bud. dont use the line i envented, where did u hear that? check urself before u wreck urself? thats all me baby, im claiming intellectual copyright infringement boet

      smellarat.smith - 2012-07-12 18:36

      Not sure what you guys are on about, but BM is a bowel movement. Definitely.

      backstabber.adder - 2012-07-12 23:37

      Hey tardis, there is nothing natural about horse testosterone, unless it is used for horses. What is wrong with you boet? - your sloping forehead reveals a strong Neanderthalian genetic load. Not much room for frontal lobes, but I guess you can pump iron very well. Hehehehehe......

  • john.edwards.733450 - 2012-07-11 23:40


  • ChrisinOz294 - 2012-07-11 23:59

    Jebb Sinclair impressed me since he started with the Stormers. He would be missed. I hope the Stormers sign him permanently for next season. He'd be a great back-up for Duane Vermeulen.

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-12 00:02

      ja and bring back naqalevuki while u r at it..what a champ he was, the bulls best player

      ChrisinOz294 - 2012-07-12 01:35

      @tom.turdis. Yep I know the Bulls tried their best and used their biggest cheque book to sign Naqalevuki. Just to get someone better than Olivier (die Stormers se punte masjien). The Bulls of course were unsuccessful - Naqalevuki might not be the best player, but even he has standards.

  • heinrich.vanjaarsveld.52 - 2012-07-12 03:24

    Its gona be as funny as he'll when all 3 teams get knock out of the running just to see all of your complaints then wana see who gets the blame then problaby the poor refs then hahahaha

      heinrich.vanjaarsveld.52 - 2012-07-12 07:17

      Dit maar jou beste try weer miskien laat j my weer dink o wag nee wat as hul uit val dan kan ek lekker lag vir almal se kommentaar oor wat kamstig fout gegaan het als gaan oor dit was nie ons skuld nie die ref en ander spanne het so en so gemaak ek wag vir kommentaar van een suporter wat erken sy span was gewen deur n beter span op die dag dan sal ek my wysie verander

      backstabber.adder - 2012-07-12 07:45

      Backstabber apologizes.

  • Richard Gouws - 2012-07-12 04:37

    where are people like Hilton Lobberts,still at the age of 25 Allister?

      jason.children - 2012-07-12 07:44

      Not good enough for Super Rugby boet! Had his chance and failed.

  • lionel.kemm.9 - 2012-07-12 07:43

    Good call coach,give the man exposure at 8 and you never know,maybe he us needed there in the semis.

  • paul.sdoow - 2012-07-12 08:41

    i think we will be surprised with him at 8th his only down side at hooker is his deep throw balls besides that he has a high work rate . makes great runs and is strong on defence. if the scrum can stand its ground he will have great opportunity to do some great back of the scrum breaks and gain quick forward momentum .

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-07-12 09:31

    "Fourie might catch a few balls at line out, but only if he is lifted by Bekker" Interesting few by KFM's sport presenter. The last game Fourie played at the back / side of the scrum they lost, hopefully the team will do better or they might slip to 3rd.

  • lourens.vandervyver.798 - 2012-07-12 10:50

    Goeie skuif. Fourie sal goed doen,dek die hele veld. Nou sal ons net moet sien of dit gaan werk. Goeie kans dit gaan ons lostio vir volgende game ook wees as Duane nog nie fiks gaan wees nie. Sal meer rustig gewees het as Duane beskikbaar was. Hy is so belangrik vir ons wedstryd plan. Bring dit STORMERS...Jou lekker ding

  • Ashley - 2012-07-12 11:14

    You can put Fourie anywhere he will do the job ......fantastic player

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-12 11:21

      full back? flyhalf?

      paul.sdoow - 2012-07-12 11:39

      even there tom cause morne and Niknak man were not the best were they

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-12 12:23

      but morne and niknak dont play for the stormers so could u help me understand what the f u r talking about. shot bud

      paul.sdoow - 2012-07-12 13:18

      ashley said any where and you pointed out two positions to which i compared the ability of ms and Niknak due to current form in series . so its all relavent seems they in those positions. answer your question bud! struggling a bit today with the insults are you?

  • Ashley - 2012-07-12 13:30

    Agreed Paul .....Tom's a f*&%#g idiot

      paul.sdoow - 2012-07-12 13:57

      he not even funny today normally he good for a few laughs so today i might have to watch a funny movie like when the bulls lost in pink at moftus. but then again we might get to watch them in newlands in pink again and lose again.

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-12 13:58

      an f asterisk ampersand percentage hash g idiot - nice insult bud

      frans.visserdsb - 2012-07-12 16:51

      I think he's still recovering from the egg on his face about his car... Apparently he drives a Hybrid which was made specially for him. A BM Kompressor 6 Series... and apparently we should all know that BM stands for Mercedes. lol

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-12 17:29

      boet the only time i get egg on my face when im downing an egg shake before gym bud. i get a bit frantic when i am about to pomp the yster. u can say what u want boet, u just jelly i got such a dope jammy chaan. f*ck it if u ous are so dense u dont know BM is mercedes then there is no helping you. fools. and no its not made specially for me, u can buy them anywhere. yirra u ous are dof hey

  • theo.greeff.5 - 2012-07-12 13:49

    Interesting move, especially as an experiment against a team that "shouldn't" provide too much trouble. I don't think that this is the best option though. 8th man is a specialist position that requires a practiced eye for where you should be covering (whether it be on defense or attack), and also a trained ability to serve as link between the forwards and backs (which can be especially difficult if the scrum is under pressure). I don't doubt that Fourie will be capable (he has his faults, but lack of skill isn't one of them), but I do think it's a little late in the season to make him learn a new position. Another criticism is that one of Fourie's main party-tricks is as a fetcher, a role that sometimes isn't best suited to an 8th man, since due to the covering nature of a no 8, he'll probably have to make a fair amount more tackles than otherwise - effectively making him unable to contest for the ball. All that said, it should be interesting to watch, if nothing else. Also, none of the criticisms I mentioned are insurmountable, and some can be rectfied with a simple shuffle in the traditional structure (most notably, if Kolisi and Elstadt play more traditional covering rolls [which they're already doing], it should free Fourie up to contest more balls on the ground).

      paul.sdoow - 2012-07-12 14:05

      very well said. and the technical side of 8th is needed more on the opponent scrum and as you said both flanks have taken up cover role too so it should work in favour of him playing fetcher and to break the nine ten channel . he very robust and short so stopping him will keep the opponent flank and 8 busy which in turn creates more space for grant and jdv . which hopefully will include more backline movements .

      lean.sadie - 2012-07-12 16:33

      Wait, am I on the wrong site? Somebody is actually talking sense. I Agree with you though. I Think Fourie would do just fine, and might surprise us a bit. Would say, I Think it would be nice to see Bekker play there too for a bit. I Read the same somewhere else, and I think he has the ball skills, and can link pretty well. His pace is not the best, but we have seen him involved in some big moves in the past. Just a thought, maybe out him there towards the end of the game to see what he can do. Some people said maybe try Eben there, but at this point I think he should stay at lock for the playoffs. Duane back at 8 would be a lot better, but doubt that would happen.

      Stirrer - 2012-07-12 16:43

      Theo, you've got it all wrong. According to HM, Steroids Spies is SA's best 8th man. If we use him as a role model, Fourie won't have to tackle or contest for the ball, ever.

      frans.visserdsb - 2012-07-12 16:57

      In my opinion Fourie is a good fetcher, more suited to playing open side flank. I would have played Kolisi at 8 - he actually looked good when he played there. Unless this is just Alastair trying out some more options against weaker opposition. Another option I would have considered is to play Elstadt at either flank or 8, and Steenkamp as lock. but let us see... Fourie is a livewire player who will give his all.

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-12 17:32

      i'd start duane vermeulen at 8, injured or not cos he is the best in the country at the moment.

  • jacobus.rautenbach - 2012-07-12 17:34

    gogogoogogo stormersssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

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