Frans: 'Canes scrum not weak!
Cape Town - Stormers prop Frans Malherbe has dismissed the notion that the Hurricanes have a weak scrum ahead of their Super Rugby duel at Newlands on Friday night.
The 'Canes were humbled in that department against the Sharks in Durban last week, which led to scathing criticism back home in New Zealand.
It led to coach Mark Hammett dropping tighthead Jeffery Toomaga-Allen for John Schwalger. The other prop, Ben Franks, has kept his place and will play his 100th Super Rugby clash.
But despite their struggles in Durban, it has to be noted that the Hurricanes were up against an all-Springbok front row of Tendai Mtawarira
, Bismarck du Plessis and Jannie du Plessis.
And Stormers tighthead Frans Malherbe says they won't underestimate their opponents at scrum time.
"Yes, the Sharks scrummed really well against the Hurricanes, but remember they (Sharks) have the Springboks' first-choice front row," Malherbe told Die Burger's website
"The focus is on us, rather than the Hurricanes, and especially not what happened in their games against the Sharks.
"Scrummaging does not rank among one of their weaknesses. I watched some of their pre-season games and they scrummed really well against the Crusaders. You can't make conclusions by just looking at the Sharks game."
Malherbe's direct opponent will be Franks, while Steven Kitshoff will take on Schwalger.
Kick-off for Friday's game is at 19:10.Teams:Stormers
15. Jaco Taute, 14. Kobus van Wyk, 13. Jean de Villiers (captain), 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Gio Aplon, 10. Demetri Catrakilis
, 9. Louis Schreuder, 8. Duane Vermeulen
, 7. Schalk Burger, 6. Siya Kolisi
, 5. Manuel Carizza, 4. Rynhardt Elstadt, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Scarra Ntubeni, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16. Deon Fourie, 17. Oliver Kebble, 18. Pat Cilliers, 19. Michael Rhodes
, 20. Nizaam Carr, 21. Nic Groom, 22. Kurt Coleman, 23. Ryno EksteenHurricanes
15 Marty Banks, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Jack Lam, 6 Faifili Levave, 5 Mark Reddish, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 John Schwalger, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben Franks
Substitutes:16 Motu Matu'u, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 19 James Broadhurst, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Alapati Leiua, 23 James Marshall