Basics important against Crusaders

PUBLISHED: March 28, 2013

The DHL Stormers are hoping to make it three from three at DHL Newlands on Saturday, when they host the Crusaders in Super Rugby action.

And in order to do so, and to claim a first win over the Crusaders since 2010, the DHL Stormers need to ensure their basics are up to speed – starting with their set-piece.

Coach Allister Coetzee explained: “Against a quality side like the Crusaders you have to make sure that your basics are working well. Your set-piece needs to function well because the Crusaders are like the Brumbies and if you give them the ball you don’t see it for a period.

“It’s not just a case of arriving and putting them under pressure and turning the ball over. You’ve really got to work hard and, of course, look after yours (too).”

Speaking further about the Crusaders’ strengths, Coetzee pointed out: “They are very accurate, they have got a great line-out and it’s difficult to contest their line-out. Their line-out accuracy is very good – it’s important in terms of their success rate.”

With that in mind, Coetzee will be hoping that his team’s set-piece will fire once again – as it did against the Chiefs and the Brumbies, games won 36-34 and 35-22, respectively, by a rampant home team.

Said the Stormers boss: “Our set-piece is crucial and we are going to have to take our opportunities against them like we did against the Brumbies. We have to reproduce what we did last weekend – that’s the bottom line.”

The Stormers have made two changes to the line-up that started in the bonus-point win over the Brumbies, both in the front row; loosehead prop Steven Kitshoff being forced to sit out this game due to a one-game suspension and hooker Tiaan Liebenberg dropping out with an elbow ligament injury.

Springbok Pat Cilliers will make his second start of 2013 in place of Kitshoff, whilst Currie Cup-winning captain Deon Fourie returns at hooker, with Martin Bezuidenhout providing back-up from the bench alongside experienced prop Brok Harris.

“When you lose players, especially for the sake of continuity, it’s a bit of a concern. However, the players coming in are not first-timers,” said Coetzee, who has been unable to field an unchanged line-up all season long.

“Deon Fourie has scrummed against the Bulls and the Sharks – he started both of those games. Pat Cilliers is a Springbok and he has played at loosehead before,” the coach added. “I have faith in all the players selected this week – as I do every week.”

Kitshoff is due back next week from suspension, but Liebenberg will be out of action for up to six weeks with his elbow injury.

But the loss of Liebenberg will be negated by the return to fitness of Scarra Ntubeni (shoulder), whilst star Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth is also set to tour Australasia with the DHL Stormers who boast tremendous depth across their entire playing squad.

Coetzee concluded: “(Fortunately) Scarra Ntubeni is on the field already, so he probably needs two or three weeks to see how his fitness goes. But he will be ready to tour, as will Eben Etzebeth.”