Rassie sticks to winning combination

PUBLISHED: May 7, 2008

Exactly the same match 22 that did duty last weekend will be taking the field on Saturday when the Vodacom Stormers tackle the Waratahs at Newlands in an important Vodacom Super 14 match.

All the players who sat out training earlier this week due to niggling injuries have been included in the side and coach Rassie Erasmus said it was good to be able to select the same squad.

“It’s nice. At this time of the season I believe the more settled the combinations and team the better. There are no coaches at this stage who are rotating or resting players, apart from when there are injuries,” commented the coach.

“So ja, it’s nice to pick the same team and hopefully they can gel nicely on Saturday.”

The former Springbok admitted that a long and hard season is starting to take its toll on the players. “Everybody got niggles at this stage.

“Normally the Super 12 season is finished now – now it’s semi-final and final time, so it’s a bit tough with two extra games. Mondays are normally the days when you can see the bumps and bruises.

“We have a bit of an injury with Tony’s groin and Brian has the flu, but otherwise it’s the normal bumps and bruises – nothing major that should keep any of the guys out of the mix on Saturday.”

Erasmus said he was keeping an eye on the weather situation, but admitted he was not sure whether his side preferred dry or wet weather.

“We had a chat about it on Sunday. For the last 3 games we’ve been preparing for wet weather or dry weather. I can tell you this is probably the weekend we are expecting it (wet weather) the most according to weather forecasts, but already this morning there’s been a slimmer chance of showers.

“It is difficult in Cape Town. I’ve only been here for six months now, so I’m not too sharp with that, but we are preparing for both. I am sure guys like Tiquri, Palu, Polota-Nau, Beale and those guys would also like dry weather.

“They must be a bit tired of wet weather now, so whatever comes we’ll have to handle it. I am not sure what we prefer.”

Vodacom Stormers team: Conrad Jantjes; Wylie Human, Gcobani Bobo, Jean de Villiers (capt), Sireli Naqelevuki; Peter Grant, Ricky Januarie; Robbie Diack, Francois Louw, Luke Watson, Andries Bekker, Adriaan Fondse, Brok Harris, Schalk Brits, Brian Mujati.

Substitutes: Deon Fourie, Schalk Ferreira, Ross Skeate, Pieter Myburgh, Bolla Conradie, Tony Brown, Dylan Des Fountain.