Vodacom Stormers wary of Cheetahs

PUBLISHED: March 16, 2010

Vodacom Stormers captain Schalk Burger warned his team-mates they cannot bask in the glory of the Super 14 victory over the Hurricanes for too long because the Cheetahs will test their mettle all over again at Newlands on Saturday.

The Stormers delivered an impressive performance in the victory over the Hurricanes the past Saturday and this Saturday they will be facing the Cheetahs in a local derby.

Reflecting on last Saturday’s performance, Burger said it would rate high on his list of most impressive victories. “I was in a few good ones. I was in Auckland in 2004, but it’s maybe one of the better ones at Newlands in the past four or five years.

“We’ve got the Cheetahs next week and that’s a big one because a derby is never easy, but we’re playing well at Newlands and it may have carried over from the Currie Cup. It’s always nice to play in front of 44000 people in Cape Town.”

Coach Allister Coetzee lauded Burger – who took over the captaincy from Jean de Villiers this season – for his leadership and said the team’s hard work is busy paying off. “I think it’s important that analysis is done by all teams. We put a hell of a lot of work in, with the law variations all teams have to play heads-up rugby and be a bit smarter.

“The players do a lot of individual analysis of the opposition and also Schalk’s leadership, it plays a massive role in terms of the right calls at the right place, knowing where the pressure comes from, knowing what they’re like at the set piece, knowing what they’re like when we drive them, so it’s a combination of a lot of things.”

Burger said after the defeat to the Brumbies the squad came together and had a rethink about the way ahead. “We had long discussions after the Brumbies game and had to decide what was the best way forward and what’s the way we want to play.

“Not much has changed. Against the Hurricanes it was just one of those Saturday’s where basically from the kick-off we were in control. Sometimes you get those kind of games where everyone is pretty much on par and the game was pretty easy in that respect, the guys were composed.”

Coetzee said the focus now is on the Cheetahs. This will be their last home game before a bye. They then embark on the overseas leg of their campaign.

“The focus is definitely the Cheetahs. We’re not looking ahead at all. They’re playing good rugby, they’re a confident side and they’re coming to Newlands with one mission. They’ve selected their team already and they’ve studied us.

“The Cheetahs will really test our defence. They play with width and they’ve got excellent passers in their side, and their physicality, like they showed against the Hurricanes, is something that we should take cognisance of. The players know each other well, so it’s not going to be easy for us.”