Vodacom Stormers coach Allister Coetzee doesn’t expect Boland to be a walkover when the two teams meet in a warm-up game for the Super 14 at the new Cape Town stadium on Saturday.
The Stormers have had two games against Super 14 opposition and convincingly beat the Western Force and the Sharks. Boland had only one game thus far, against the Ikeys.
Coetzee is, however, not prepared to underestimate their neighbours, who lost their Currie Cup Premier status last season. He admitted he doesn’t know too much about the new players in the Boland squad.
“I haven’t had time to focus on the Boland squad and for those players to measure themselves against a Super 14 franchise… some of them might use the opportunity to show us that we made a mistake for not including them, so there’s a lot at stake and a lot to play for from their side. And for Loffie (Eloff, coach) it will be a good gauge for where he’s at.”
The coach hopes the fuss about the new stadium won’t have a negative effect on his players. The 40 000 tickets that were available for this clash were sold out a week ago.
“I’d be very disappointed if we got excited to go play because it’s a new stadium, we get excited whenever the Stormers run out there. It’s another big opportunity for the Stormers team.
“It’s still a very good side. Obviously the environment is new. It is the first time on a new pitch, and I believe it’s sold out already and the players always enjoy playing in front of big crowds.”
For Saturday’s game the coach preferred to give most of his stalwarts a break and stars such as Tiaan Liebenberg, Brok Harris, Wicus Blaauw, Peter Grant, Andries Bekker, Francois Louw and Jacque Fourie are not in action.
The coach explained he doesn’t want to go into next weekend’s opening match in Joburg against the Lions worrying about injured players. Another reason was that he wanted to give the backup players a chance to gain match-fitness.
Teams for Cape Town Stadium:
Stormers – 15 Fabian Juries, 14 Sireli Naqelevuki, 13 Frikkie Welsh, 12 Paul Bosch, 11 Dylan des Fountain, 10 Willem de Waal, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Pieter Louw, 7 Yaya Hartzenburg, 6 Schalk Burger (c), 5 Anton van Zyl, 4 Rynardt Elstadt, 3 JC Kritzinger, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 JD Moller. Substitutes: Callie Visagie, Eusebio Guinazu, Martin Muller, Pieter Myburgh, Boetie Britz, Bolla Conradie, Lionel Cronje, Tim Whitehead, Juan de Jongh, Bryan Habana, Gio Aplon.
Boland Kavaliers – 15 Jaquin Janses, 14 Whaleed Heynes, 13 PJ Vermeulen, 12 Lionel Cornelius, 11 Cornal Hendricks, 10 Dean Grant, 9 Neil Papier, 8 Zandré Jordaan, 7 Hilton Lobberts, 6 Franzel September, 5 Grant le Roux, 4 Johann Peacock, 3 Rossouw Kruger, 2 Ashton Constand, 1 Janro van Nikerk (c). Substitutes: Raul Larson, Clemen Lewis, Sphelelo Mayaba, André du Toit, Wesley Kotzé, Angelo Brinkhuys, David Hendricks, Manie Adams, Llewellyn Adonis, Danré Gerber, Jeremy Plaatjies, Hyron Thyse, Willie le Roux.
Referee: Mark Lawrence