Jean, Marius ready again

PUBLISHED: February 20, 2006

Good news for Vodacom Stormers fans is that Springbok midfield duo Jean de Villiers and Marius Joubert are set to bolster the team for Friday night’s Vodacom Super 14 match against the Brumbies at Newlands.

De Villiers on Friday had to succumb to a groin injury picked up in training earlier last week and Gus Theron took his place for Saturday’s game against the Waratahs.

Joubert missed last year’s end-of-season tour of the Springboks due to a lower back injury. He hasn’t seen any action thus far this season, but coach Kobus van der Merwe said he was now ready for a comeback.

“Jean will be ready next week and Marius Joubert is coming back. I thought Gus stood in very well for Jean and I thought he had a really good game,” Van der Merwe said in response to a question about the midfield depth of the Stormers.

“We have four top quality centers and I have the option of playing Werner Greeff there as well and play Joe Pietersen or Justin Peach at fullback. Tonderai (Chavhanga) is also back next week.”

He added that he has the option of playing Joubert in a Vodacom Cup match for Vodacom Western Province first or using him from the bench.

“Wee will assessed it during the week. He (Joubert) will come back into full training this week and we will see how he handles the physical aspect of it.

“We will make the call then, maybe use him off the bench first or maybe give him a Vodacom Cup game to build his confidence.”

Van der Merwe said the second half was a key area in the defeat to the Waratahs at Newlands on Saturday night.

“Obviously I think the second half was the key area that cost us the game.

We did speak about it at halftime, about minimizing the mistakes in the second half and keeping the momentum going and how vital the first 20 minutes are. I think we let ourselves down there.

“We made a lot of errors and we couldn’t get out of our territory. They had 60% of the territory in the second half. We had to do a lot of defending.”