Fouche fuelled up for scrum battle in Glasgow

PUBLISHED: June 6, 2024

Tighthead prop Neethling Fouche is hoping a potent scrumming performance will give the DHL Stormers the edge in a tight quarter-final clash against Glasgow Warriors on Saturday.

The DHL Stormers, on a four-win streak, are in Glasgow to face the Warriors at Scotstoun Stadium in the first round of the Vodacom URC playoffs, having secured fifth place on the overall table with a hard-fought victory over the Emirates Lions at DHL Stadium.

Fouche has been at the heart of a DHL Stormers scrum that’s won the most penalties in the competition this season and he underlined the importance of the pack being at their best on a tricky artificial turf.

“The scrum has been operating nicely for us this season, it is something that we take pride in and we are going to need it again on Saturday, playing on a 4G pitch which offers a different feel,” said Fouche.

“Play-offs often come down to small margins. From the first scrum to the last, we will have to front up because Glasgow also has a solid scrum. We will have to be at our best as a pack, tight and connected.”

Opportunities are likely to be scarce in a must-win playoff match and Fouche highlighted the value of discipline in denying free shots to Glasgow.

“One thing we’ve really got better these last couple of weeks, especially on tour, is our discipline,” Fouche said. “We’ve tended to give away silly penalties which puts us under pressure. So it’s important to keep it simple, not giving away those little penalties that allow teams to kick into our 22. We must make teams work to get into our 22, which brings our defence into play.”

The DHL Stormers have tasted defeat in their last two visits to Glasgow, but the narrow margins of those losses gives Fouche hope against a quality Warriors outfit.

“Scotstoun is not an easy place to play at. We’ve faced Glasgow there two times and lost two times. Both games were closely contested. The thing we can take away from those is that we are in the mix. It’s like I’ve said about putting everything together,” he said.

“You just have to be clinical when you are playing overseas, even more than when you are playing at home, where you get more chances. Overseas, you are only going to get so many chances to attack in the 22 and you have to come away with points.

“A problem for us this season has been not really taking our chances, but it has been better in these last two games. It’s hopefully something we can take into the play-offs.

“Glasgow are a quality side. They were competing to finish in the top two for most of the season. They are very well coached by Franco Smith. It’s not going to be easy. They will give us nothing.

“We have to go and work to earn it. Hopefully it’s a cracking game. Glasgow play a very expansive brand of rugby that is easy on the eye. They are also a very fit team that make you work hard,” he said.