Rassie sticks to his guns

PUBLISHED: April 8, 2009

Vodacom Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus took a conservative approach when he made only one change to the side for Saturday’s Vodacom Super 14 match against the Brumbies in Canberra.

Prop JD Moller is back in the starting XV after a stint on the substitutes’ bench since recovering from injury. He takes over from the promising Wicus Blaauw, who reverts to the substitutes bench.

Erasmus said making wholesale changes would not necessarily strengthen the team. “It was a relatively easy team selection. You gauge how the guys are performing and also at who our opponents are.

“If you play against the Waratahs and you lose by 6 points and stood a chance to win the game you are not going to make changes just to prove a point. You should make changes to improve the side and at this stage I don’t think the team will improve by making changes.”

The Stormers now have lost the first two games on the tour, but the coach said the mood in the camp is still good. “The guys are definitely disappointed and irritated that we cannot score tries and get points on the board.

“But we are nowhere near down and out,” the former Springbok loose-forward added.

Reflecting on last week’s defeat to the Waratahs Erasmus said it was a matter of things not happening for the Stormers. “It seems to me we just can’t get it right. We attack so much more than our opponents, we kick less than the opposition, we break more tackles, we off-load more, etc. – we just don’t score the tries.

“That is basically the big problem, our attacking game. But what can you do? You just train more and put in more effort on the training field. Somewhere you have to come into your own and things have to start going right.

“We are making plans and we are doing the analyzing and it doesn’t help looking at improving our defence because we are the best defensive team in the competition. But we will just keep on working hard and try our best on the field.”

The Vodacom Stormers team is as follows:

15. Conrad Jantjes
14. Wylie Human
13. Gcobani Bobo
12. Jean De Villiers (C)
11. Sireli Naqelevuki
10. Peter Grant
9. Ricky Januarie
8. Luke Watson
7 Duane Vermeulen
6. Schalk Burger
5. AJ Venter
4. Adriaan Fondse
3. Brian Mujati
2. Schalk Brits
1. JD Moller


16. Tiaan Liebenberg
17. Wicus Blaauw / Schalk Ferreira
18. Hilton Lobberts
19. Francois Louw
20. Dewaldt Duvenage
21. Willem De Waal
22. Dylan Des Fountain