CAPE TOWN – After three successive South African derbies, Stormers coach Robbie Fleck is expecting his team to be “asked a lot more questions” against the Jaguares tomorrow at Newlands (7.30pm).
Wins over the Lions and Sharks kick-started the Stormers’ season after their blowout in round one against the Bulls, but they now face a different challenge. The Argentine side are likely to field a virtual Test outfit.
“They are a team that can hang onto the ball and put teams under pressure. They have some big ball carriers that carry the ball pretty low. Our defence though has looked good of late. I think we’re right up there in the tournament with the better teams in terms of dominant tackles and gain line success rate,” Fleck said.
“It is going to have to be top notch this week because we all saw what happens when you give them a bit of space. When they get a rumble on, they are a pretty tough side to play. I think that the Jaguares will ask a lot more questions of our defence than we faced in the last few weeks.”
Fleck has attempted to counter the Jaguares threat with a Springbok-laden pack consisting of captain Siya Kolisi, Steven Kitshoff, Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit. Scarra Ntubeni and JD Schickerling are also previous Springbok tourists, while Juarno Augustus is a former Junior Bok.
The inclusion of prop Kitshoff, hooker Ntubeni and No 8 Augustus are part of four changes to a line-up that broke their away bogey in Durban a fortnight ago. In the backline Dillyn Leyds’ experience is preferred to the youthful exuberance of Damian Willemse at fullback.
Big things have been expected from Augustus since being named World Under-20 Rugby Player of the Year a couple of years ago.
“Bringing ‘Trokkie’ (Augustus) in at No 8 brings a different dimension. He is an explosive player and is pretty deadly close to the tryline and around the fringes. He is pretty hard on the ball and stops momentum and gives us momentum. He is certainly a player we’re looking to get involved more and more,” Fleck said. “There is no longer the soft tissue injuries he had in the past. We are excited about him.”
15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 SP Marais, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno
Augustus, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Bench: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Cobus Wiese, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Ruhan Nel, 23 Damian Willemse.