‘Tahs wary of Stormers young guns

    2015-04-08 09:32

    Cape Town - The Waratahs say they will not be underestimating a young Stormers team in their Super Rugby clash in Sydney on Saturday.

    The Stormers will be without skipper Duane Vermeulen, who is being rested in line with the South African Rugby Union's policy to rest top Springboks.

    The Capetonians have lost three matches in the trot and will go into the clash against the defending Super Rugby champions as underdogs.

    However, the Waratahs remain wary of the threat the Stormers could pose.

    “They’re a very physical side, yes, Vermeulen’s not playing, but they’re getting back Juan de Jongh, another starting player, their vice-captain who has been named as their captain (in place of Vermeulen),” defence coach Nathan Grey told the Waratahs’ official website.

    “You lose a bit somewhere, you gain somewhere else. They played very well against the Hurricanes the other week and were a little bit unlucky not to get a result there. But they provide a lot of firepower across the park and they’ve got good skills so we’re very much aware of that.”

    Unlike previous years, the Stormers have shown more willingness to attack this season, something Grey put down to an emphasis of promoting youth.

    “They’ve got a good young group of players in there. You’ve got Juan de Jongh who comes in there at 13 who provides a really good base for them. But they’ve got a lot of young guys who are trying to play their way and play really well at this level and that’s exciting for them and dangerous for us.

    “They back themselves a lot of the time which is a real positive sign for them. Yes, they’re younger guys and that provides an opportunity (for us) because they don’t have as much as experience, but they’ve got that young, let’s have a crack attitude which is going to present them opportunities if we’re lazy.”

    The Stormers' backline in last week's clash against the Hurricanes had only 143 combined Super Rugby caps, with centre Damian de Allende (28) having played the most games. He was also the only Test player with 3 caps. In contrast, the Waratahs backline in their last match against the Blues had a combined 385 Super Rugby games, with 149 Test caps shared among the backs.

    Saturday’s clash at Allianz Stadium kicks off at 10:40 (SA time).

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