New Western Province and Stormers kicking coach Vlok Cilliers will put the same structure in place at junior and senior levels. BRENTON CHELIN reports.
Cilliers arrives in the Cape after 11 successful years in Pretoria, where he worked as a kicking coach for the Bulls during one of the most successful periods in their history. The 46-year-old returns to Cape Town, where he played 80 matches for Western Province as a utility back between 1993 and 1998. He has been tasked with implementing new kicking structures at the union in much the same way he did at the Bulls.
'It's good to be back after 11 years in Pretoria,' Cilliers told SARugbymag.co.za with a tinge of excitement. 'Before I signed for Province, I had a number of meetings with Gert [Smal] and Allister [Coetzee] about the work they are doing here and what I could add from a kicking perspective. The one thing I'm looking to improve on is continuity from the juniors through to the seniors and to put a structure in place. To make sure the guys have the same kicking structure and kicking language and that they understand their role within the team. If a junior has to be promoted to the senior side, he needs to be able to slot in easily and have all the different type of kicks under his belt.'
Cilliers is most noted for his work with Morné Steyn, whom he transformed from an inconsistent goal-kicker into a metronomic record-breaker for the Bulls and the Springboks. With a number of young flyhalves in the mix at Newlands, Cilliers is looking forward to the job ahead.
'There's a lot of talent in the ranks. If you look at Kurt Coleman, he's improving all the time. He put in a good performance against the Bulls where he kicked well out of hand. There's still lots of room for improvement, but between Coleman, Demetri Catrakilis, Robert du Preez and Ryno Eksteen, there's a nice blend of young talent.'
Cilliers will work with former WP flyhalf Gareth Wright in Cape Town, the current kicking coach for the Vodacom Cup, U21 and U19 teams. He believes that there will be some improvements in the Currie Cup, but the true benefits of his work will only be seen during next year's Super Rugby tournament.
'I hope to see small improvements during the Currie Cup, to see the kickers striking the ball better and more accurately on a consistent basis. Next year should be much better though after we've had the Currie Cup under our belts and a pre-season together. Come the start of next year's Super Rugby competitions, our kickers will be ready to fire.'
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images