First impressions are lasting

PUBLISHED: January 28, 2005

Quite a number of players in tonight’s friendly match at Wellington between the Investec Stormers and Boland will be mindful of that expression as coach Gert Smal casts his eye on the available talent in the region.

The Stormers play their first warm-up match for the Super 12 against the Vodacom Cup champions and Smal said he would use this match to have a look at the talent at his disposal.

The coach said this game is an important one for the coaching staff, but maybe even more so for the players. “Firstly, I want to have a look at our first phase possession and the performance of the tight five.

“Then we will be looking at our contact play and the structure of our game. Defence is also important.”

Smal added he wants to see how certain individuals adapt to certain circumstances. “Tonight’s game will also give an indication of how certain combinations will work.

“I expect a reasonably tough game tonight and it will give us the opportunity to assess which areas of our game need more attention and where we need to do more fine-tuning.”

Smal said the game furthermore offers the coaching staff the opportunity to assess the depth in the region. “I know what I have at the moment. Jongi Nowke and Jaco Engels will be playing for Boland and it is my intention to have a look at individuals.”

He thinks Boland would provide a good test for his players. “They will come at us in a big way. What is important to me, though, is that they concentrate on putting a quality game together. You want to see that they do the things well that you want them to do well.

“I want Boland to give us tough competition. I am looking forward to that. You work hard during the pre-season and off-season to put certain new things in place and you want to see the guys pull those things off in match situations. Those are the things that are going to give you results in future.”

The coach said his goal is to give all the players in the squad as much game time possible during the three warm-up games. Therefore he will make a lot of changes to the side at halftime tonight.

Teams for Wellington:
Investec Stormers: Tiger Mangweni, Breyton Paulse, Gus Theron, De Wet Barry (captain), Egon Seconds, Gaffie du Toit, Tertius Carse, Joe van Niekerk, Schalk Burger, Luke Watson, Rob Linde, Elton Hume, Faan Rautenbach, Hanyani Shimange, JD Moller. Reserves: Dawid Britz, Danie Thiart, Andries Bekker, David Hendricks, Tonderai Chavangha, Marius Joubert, Werner Greeff, Pat Barnard, Gerrie Britz, Adri Badenhorst.

Boland: Antonius Verhoeven, Warren Petersen, Piet van Zyl, Jacques Badenhorst, Jongi Nokwe, Solly Goosen, Charl Blom, Henley du Plessis, Chris Potgieter, Conrad Burke (captain), Dawid de Villiers, Henk Eksteen, Fabian Brandt, Gustav Rademeyer, ommy Dixon, Reserves: Jaco Engels, Pieter Terblanche, Nicky Smit, Kobus le Roux, Neil Papier, Patrick Petersen, Kobus Meintjies. Kick-off: 19:00.