Stormers coach Robbie Fleck says his side will focus on dictating the pace of the game in their clash with the Jaguares in Buenos Aires on Saturday. DYLAN JACK reports.
The match could have a big impact where they finish up in the South African conference, as the two sides are currently level on points, with the Jaguares enjoying a superior points differential.
While the Stormers were largely dominant during their 35-8 victory over the Jaguares earlier this season, they will know that an entirely different prospect awaits them in the Argentinian capital.
For one, the Stormers will field a much-changed team from that game. The loose trio of Juarno Augustus, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Siya Kolisi are all unavailable for the match. They are replaced by Kobus van Dyk, Cobus Wiese and fit-again Jaco Coetzee.
Coetzee, who has been utilised mostly at No 8, will finally get an opportunity to test his skills as an openside flank, while Wiese, who has proved a solid stand-in for lock Eben Etzebeth, gets to play on the blindside.
Fleck has made no secret of the fact that at some stage in the season, he has wanted to shift the duo into the flank positions, but now finds his hand forced by an injury to Du Toit and Kolisi’s game management.
It could still benefit the Stormers, though, with Fleck telling the media from Buenos Aires that they want to slow the game down whenever the Jaguares are in possession.
‘I am looking forward to seeing how he [Coetzee] goes against a team that gets the ball out the rucks much faster than any other team in the competition,’ Fleck said.
‘We are going to have to slow down the Jaguares’ possession, either through dominant tackles or at the breakdown. We had Jaco in the squad as a No 6, but unfortunate circumstances led to us having to play him at No 8. He was very good as an eighthman, but will now get a chance to play in his preferred position.
‘We wanted to test Cobus at 7 on the Australasian tour,’ Fleck added. ‘However, the injuries at lock did not allow us to do that. Eben’s return allows us to make that change now.’
Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix