Bulls much better now - Coetzee
Cape Town - Stormers coach Allister Coetzee says his team is under no illusions that the Vodacom Bulls combination that they face in a massive Vodacom Super Rugby derby at Newlands on Saturday will be as beatable as the one they faced in the first round match at Loftus.
According to the supersport.com website, back on Valentine’s Day it was the Stormers who prevailed against all expectations, blunting a Bulls team that was heavily favoured to win the South African conference and which started as overwhelming favourites.
Since then the Stormers have gone on to announce themselves with some other impressive wins, and are no longer the unknown factor they were at the start of the competition, but the Bulls have also recovered well from the early slump that saw them lose two home games in succession to start off with. Part of the reason for the Bulls resurrection, says Coetzee, is because of a change of personnel.
“They’ve selected Jessie Kriel at the back whereas in the first round game it was Jurgen Visser who was at fullback, and that does make a big difference as Kriel is a really good player who was a star of the South African under-20 team last year,” said Coetzee.
“Whereas Visser tends to kick the ball back, Kriel is comfortable with running kicks back and not just kicking, and that makes a massive difference to the type of game that the Bulls can play. We are expecting a very different Bulls team to what we faced in February.”
Coetzee noted that while the Bulls have lost Victor Matfield to injury since the teams last met, they’ve gained Arno Botha back from injury.
“They’ve worked at their set piece as well and against the Bulls you always know it’s going to be a big set piece battle. We are under no illusions that this will be similar to the first round game,” he said.
However, having said that, Coetzee also believes his own team is in a different place to where they were in February.
“We’ve grown enormously since then and have gained confidence winning overseas. Our set piece has been working really well for us and we know how to strike from broken play. The Bulls have won six of their last seven games and should be confident after winning in Durban last week, but we are playing at Newlands, and we always back ourselves to play well there.”
15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Pat Howard, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Schalk Burger, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Huw Jones
15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Dean Greyling
Substitutes: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Morne Mellet, 18 Arno Botha, 19 Lappies Labuschagne, 20 Akona Ndungane, 21 Tian Schoeman, 22 Jurgen Visser, 23 Trevor Nyakane