A big allround team-effort is what the Vodacom Stormers going to need if they want to stop the impressive Crusaders in Friday night’s Vodacom Super 14 game at Newlands.
That is the view of Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus, who said the Crusaders have a very good side with no apparent weaknesses. “They don’t have a speficic place where they attack – they have a great pack and brilliant backs and they ask a lot of questions of the defence.
“We are going to need a very good allround performance if we want to be in the mix on Friday night,” said the coach. “We cannot rely on domination upfront only – they are a well-rounded side with too many good players to single out individuals.”
Inside centre Stephen Brett played a big part in the annihilation of the Bulls at Loftus last Friday and Erasmus agreed that he was a pretty special talent. “He played well last year too, even at flyhalf. This is his second Super 14 and he has more confidence. He for sure is a great talent.”
The Stormers coach admitted his side is feeling the pressure for their first win after two narrow defeats. “The pressure is there. We want to win, not only for the supporters, but also for ourselves.
“The scoreboard obviously is important. We want to improve in all departments of the game. If you can do that, the scoreboard will also favour you. We realise that we can only work harder and improve on our weak points.”
Captain Jean de Villiers felt that the side was ready to put a big challenge. “If we can improve on our attacking play, then we will definitely be competitive and on the day, anything can happen.
“The Crusaders are a quality side and have adapted to the new laws, while they also have fantastic players. So it will be a tough game for us, but it will also be a challenge and an opportunity for us to really show the teams out there what we are made of.
“We believe we can do it.”
In last week’s newsletter we made backing the Stormers on handicap a good bet. The Stormers covered the handicap easily so those fans who followed our tip were laughing all the way to the bank! From a betting perspective Friday night’s clash will be challenging to say the least. Although winless the Stormers have been very unlucky going down narrowly to the Bulls and the Sharks. If the Stormers can contain the superb running game of the Crusaders we may just surprise them. The latest odds on the Stormers winning the match outright are R6.50 (A bet of R10 gives you a profit of R55). The handicap has been set at 15.5 points with odds of R1.95 so if you bet R100 on the Stormers on handicap, then if the Stormers win or lose by 15 points or less you will make a profit of R95. We predict a huge effort from the Stormers and suggest backing the Stormers on handicap. So visit us at www.stormersbet.co.za and register today.
Vodacom Stormers: 15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 Tonderai Chavhanga, 13 Gcobani Bobo, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Sireli Naqelevuki, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Luke Watson, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Pieter Myburgh, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 JD Moller. Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Ross Skeate, 19 Robbie Diack, 20 Bolla Conradie, 21 Gio Aplon, 22 Dylan des Fountain.
Crusaders: 15 Leon MacDonald, 14 Kade Poki, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Stephen Brett, 11 Caleb Ralph, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Andrew Ellis, 8 Mose Tuiali’i, 7 Richard McCaw (captain), 6 Kieran Read, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Campbell Johnstone, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett. Replacements: 16 Ti’i Paulo, 17 Greg Somerville, 18 Reuben Thorne, 19 Nasi Manu, 20 Kahn Fotuali’i, 21 Tim Bateman, 22 Sean Maitland.
Referee: Matt Goddard (Australia)
Touch judges: Brett Bowden (Australia), Pro Legoete (South Africa)
Television match official: Johan Meuwesen (South Africa)
Assessor: Dennis Immelman (South Africa)