A last chance to rectify the problem areas in a match situation and also a final chance for fringe players to show what they’ve got.
That is how Vodacom Stormers assistant coach Jerome Paarwater views Saturday’s two warm-up matches against two Boland teams.
The Stormers tackle Boland with two teams at Faure Street Stadium in Paarl on Saturday. The first game starts at 16h30 and the main game at 18h00.
“It is a last chance for players to show what they are capable of, because there are a few players whom we are still uncertain of. Also, from a rugby point of view, we want to see if our structures are right,” said the forwards’ coach.
He added: “It worked well against the Bulls, but there are a few things we want to improve on.”
Paarwater said two positions the brains trust would scrutinize closely, are flyhalf and scrumhalf. Brent Russell didn’t convince against the Bulls and at scrumhalf Bolla Conradie is the only one with Super 14 experience.
“The ideal is to have three good scrumhalves. We are happy with JP Joubert’s performance against the Bulls when he went on. Bolla and JP are good scrumhalves, but the problem is when you get an injury.
“We are thin in that position. Charl Blom is in our squad, but requested to play for Boland this weekend.
“Yes, I would agree flyhalf is another position that we will look at. Naas did well against the Bulls and we know what he has to offer,” said Paarwater.
“Brent will start in the first game because we want to give him more game time. We believe he will improve at flyhalf once he gets more opportunities to play there.”
Paarwater said he was satisfied that the Stormers are in a good position regarding the forwards. They have enough depth in all the positions, so that is not a concern, the coach said.
He expects Boland to be fired-up and very competitive. He should know, because he is a former Boland coach.
“It is actually easy to coach Boland when they play against Western Province or the Stormers. For two weeks now that is all they’ve been talking about and they are looking forward to taking us on.
“I’ve attended their trials two weeks ago and they have good talent there. It is going to be a good game. It is good for us, because we are going to get a tough game.”
Paarwater added that the Boland players want to prove a point because they are a Stormers partner. “They want to prove they belong in the Stormers team.
“We are definitely going to have a look at their players two, because in the Super 14 you could easily get two injuries in the same position and then you have to know which players are capable of slotting in.”
Paarwater said the Stormers would select their squad of 30 players on Monday.
TEAMS FOR FAURE STREET STADIUM:
To play main game: Gio Aplon, Breyton Paulse, Corne Uys, Jean de Villiers, Conrad Jantjes, Naas Olivier, Bolla Conradie, Robbie Diack, Schalk Burger, Luke Watson (captain), Andries Bekker, Selborne Boome, Eddie Andrews, Schalk Brits, JD Moller. Replacements: Tiaan Liebenberg, Brok Harris, Ross Skeate, Gerrie Britz, Joe van Niekerk, JP Joubert, Brent Russell, De Wet Barry, Werner Greeff.
To play curtain-raiser: Werner Greeff, Sarel Potgieter, Dylan des Fountain, Peter Grant, Joe Pietersen, Brent Russell, Ashieq Wise, Joe van Niekerk, Pieter Louw, Justin Melck, Gerrie Britz, Francois van der Merwe, Brok Harris, Huia Edmonds, Schalk Ferreira. Replacements: Simon Westraad, Attie Winter, Stinkie Vermeulen, Jandre Kruger, Francois Louw, Isma-eel Dollie, Morgan Human, Terry Jacobs.
Boland A: Justin Peach, John Daniels, Piet van Zyl, Dewey Swartbooi, Alshaun Bock, Nel Fourie, Charl Blom, Chris Potgieter, Evert Kleynhaus, Conrad Burke (captain), Piet Myburgh, David de Villiers, Tommy Dixon, Hanyani Shimange, Janro van Niekerk. RESERVES: Pieter Wium, Andries Human, Henley du Plessis, Kobus le Roux/Roland Reid, Neil Papier, Jacques Schutte, Walter Venter.
Boland B: Monray Liebenberg, Pieter Stoffberg, Kobus Meintjes, Alvin Hugo, Ossie Damons, Tewis de Bruyn, Francois Prinsloo, Sebastian Hilpert, Callie Wannenburg, Coenie Basson, Duimpie Theron, Pieter van der Merwe, Frankie Horne, Jané du Toit (captain). RESERVES: Clement Lewis, Hendrik Ferreira, Quinton Davids, Zolani Mofu/Chase Minnaar, Dewald Duvenhage, Therlow Pietersen, Claude Arendse.