Why the Stormers scrum is clicking
Cape Town - The Stormers may have been found wanting in the lineout department in recent weeks, but their scrum has been rock solid.
In their gutsy 25-24 win over the Brumbies at Newlands two weekends ago, superior scrumming won the hosts numerous penalties that effectively allowed them back into the match. It has been a feature of the Stormers game all season, and one man who has been instrumental in that success is Frans Malherbe.
The 24-year-old tighthead has featured in 10 of the 12 matches the Stormers have played so far this season, missing the first two through injury, and he has started all of the last five.
A member of Bok coach Heyneke Meyer’s training camp at the beginning of May, Malherbe says the success in the scrum this season is largely the result of hard work.
“It’s a bit of everything. The guys have been playing together for a few years now, but it’s a lot of hard work. We stepped up the hard work in training much more,” said Malherbe.
“I think it’s a process of putting in the hard yards, not only this year. It’s not a situation where we did something different and now it’s working. We’ve been working hard on it last year as well, so I think we’re reaping the fruits of that now.”
Malherbe added that the dominance at scrum time was having a big impact on the field.
“It’s very good to have a dominant scrum like we’ve been having the past few weeks,” he said.
“We’ve been getting a lot of penalties from the scrum which also helps the forwards get in the game and (in terms of) territory, if you think of being able to kick the ball 40 metres after getting a scrum penalty.”
On his own game, Malherbe was just happy to be enjoying a run in the side and to be in good form.
“I’ve been on the sidelines for the last few years more than I would have liked so it’s awesome to get some form back,” he said.
“It’s good, the competition is very big from a guy like Vincent (Koch). He’s a very good player and the competition brings out the best in you so I really like it. I know he’s the guy who has my back.”
The Stormers are next in action on Saturday night when they take on the Rebels at Newlands at 19:10.