Abner van Reenen’s performance against the Lions may have provided the Stormers with an answer to their problematic position.
In an eye-catching display at the Cape Town Stadium this past Saturday, Van Reenen scored 19 points as the Stormers cruised to a 44-12 victory over the Lions to close off their Preparation Series.
The 22-year-old, who was starting his first match for the Stormers, looked comfortable as he kicked all five of his conversions, while also adding two penalties and a drop goal. He also kicked well out of hand and distributed the ball effectively to his outside backs, allowing the likes of Ruhan Nel and Seabelo Senatla to work their magic.
Van Reenen was yellow-carded late in the match, after a TMO review caught him deliberately knocking the ball over the dead-ball line, but by that stage the game had already been won.
‘He had a good week and the guys around him supported him well and a guy like Damian Willemse worked hard with him the entire week,’ Stormers backline coach Dawie Snyman said after the game. ‘It’s always nice for us when we give a young player an opportunity and that he uses it well and delivers a performance like Abner did.
‘If you can play against an Elton Jantjies and a Lions team you have showed that you have it, so he proved himself, and Kade was also good last week against the Bulls at Loftus.
‘These guys are young and if the pressure gets increased in bigger games they will be tested, so we will keep working hard on them to improve them further.’
The Stormers had previously entrusted 19-year-old Kade Wolhuter at No 10 during the series, while Willemse and Tim Swiel shared the responsibility during Super Rugby Unlocked and the Currie Cup. Christopher Schreuder is another youngster who made his debut in the Preparation Series.
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images