Paarwater happy with tight five, but…

PUBLISHED: February 14, 2006

It was an impressive performance by the Vodacom Stormers’ much-maligned pack on Saturday, but there still is much room for improvement.

That was the verdict from Stormers forwards coach Jerome Paarwater on Tuesday. He said he was happy with the way the Stormers eight handled the Cats in the victory in Johannesburg on Saturday.

“It was good, but I don’t know if it is such a good thing that people now rave so much about our pack. There still is a lot of work that need to be done,” said Paarwater.

He added that it was a good start. “We were written off by a lot of people and I believe we are still the underdogs against most packs. However, I am glad that the guys stuck to what we’ve done on the practice field.

“That was good. The guys understood how to play on a wet field. Last year we (Western Province) battled in the wet in the semi-final against the Cheetahs because the guys just wanted to shift the ball wide on every occasion.”

The former WP flank said there are still a few things the Stomers need to work on. He singled out the defence against drives or rolling mauls from lineouts as the most important.

“That was one aspect of our game that was poor against the Cats. They had a big pack with guys such as Trevor Hall and Jannes Labuschagne there. However, in the scrums we fared reasonably well.”

Paarwater expects the Waratahs to use driving play from lineouts as an attacking weapon when they meet at Newlands on Saturday.

“We know what their strong points are. You can shift your ball against them, but you need to do it effectively because with Phil Waugh there they like to use turnover balls to counter attack.

“We are giving attention to our cleaning of the rucks on the training field. People underestimate them because they have Tiquri and Sailor at the back and think they just attack the whole time with the backs.

“However, their rolling maul from lineouts is very effective. They executed it very well against the Reds. So their forwards are not to bad and we need to be at our best to contain them.”

On Tuesday the news from the Vodacom Stormers regarding their injured players were much more positive than the previous day. Eddie Andrews, Neil de Kock and Adri Badenhorst were all back on the training field.

There is still, however, concern over hooker Hanyani Shimange, who sat out a second day of training due to a leg injury. He would have to pass a fitness test on Wednesday.