Allister Coetzee said his Vodacom Stormers side will not be lulled into a fall sense of security by the Sharks’ listless performance against the Force when the two clash on Friday night in the final match of the Neo Africa Tri-series at Newlands.
The Stormers easily beat the Force in the first game on Saturday, but the latter bounced back by emphatically trouncing the Sharks on Tuesday night. On Friday night the two local franchises do battle and Coetzee expects a typical South African derby.
“We watched the game and I think one mustn’t be deceived by what happened on Tuesday night. The Sharks had their pre-season and they know what their aims are. It was their first hit-out.
“They’ve probably got their top squad for us this Friday night. It will be a hard, physical derby and it will be a hard game this week.”
Coetzee said the Stormers main aim was to make sure their set piece was good enough and he thought their scrumming sessions with the referees paid off. “Importantly, we need to get confidence in our structures, even if we play a weakened side, it’s what we’ve been training for the past six weeks and we need to implement in some kind of pressure situations and build on that.”
The former Springboks assistant coach said getting game time under the belt was very important for the players. “Our aim is to give the guys a run and get them game time under the belt and I think it was the same for the Sharks who were doing the same against the Force.
“I also want to settle a few combinations and, from a 28-man squad, I would like to see that most of them have had almost two full games of match time. We still have the Boland friendly to make sure that Schalk (Burger) has played between 140 to 160 minutes of rugby.
Burger said he was looking forward to running out. “It’s a warm-up game so we’re still pretty relaxed. I’m looking forward to it. We’ve got a few systems to try and if it works we’ll have a good game on Friday. “I’m definitely fresher than a couple of seasons ago, but obviously because of suspension and injuries I didn’t play too much last year and I had a good December holiday. I’m feeling really fresh and I’m raring to go.”
Coetzee said he wants the players to go out and have fun. “I think the most important thing for this team is to go out and enjoy themselves. On Saturday the guys had good fun out there, great tries were scored and the guys were high-fiving, and that’s what it’s about – to go out there and express yourself and have fun.”
Kick-off for Friday nights match is at 19h00 and gates open at 17h30.
Standing Room (Danie Craven Stand only): R20
Scholars Enclosure: R10
Tickets are on sale at Computicket, Shoprite/Checkers outlets nationwide and at the Newlands Box Offices as from Tuesday 19 January 09:00-16:00.
Telephonic credit card bookings: 083 915 8000. Online: www.computicket.com Season tickets are NOT valid for this match.
The Vodacom Stormers team is as follows:
15. Joe Pietersen
14. Gio Aplon
13. Jaque Fourie
12. Juan De Jongh
11. Bryan Habana
10. Peter Grant
9. Dewaldt Duvenage
8. Duane Vermeulen
7 Francois Louw
6. Schalk Burger (C)
5. Andries Bekker
4. De Kock Steenkamp
3. Brok Harris
2. Tiaan Liebenberg
1. Wicus Blaauw
16. Deon Fourie
17. JC Kritzinger
18. Eusebio Guinazu
19. Anton Van Zyl
21. Pieter Louw
22. Bolla Conradie
23. Lionel Cronje
24. Sireli Naqelevuki
25. Frikkie Welsh
26. Fabian Juries