Catrakilis will give Stormers some kick

Cape Town - Demetri Catrakilis is set for a recall to the Stormers starting line-up for Saturday’s showdown against the Western Force at Newlands.

The flyhalf was on Monday cleared for a return to duty after spending three weeks in the stands with a broken nose.

Fit-again Demetri Catrakilis has the kicking expertise the Stormers need. Photo: MARTY MELVILLE. Credit: AFP

Winger Kobus van Wyk has also recovered from a wrist injury.

“Demetri is definitely on the radar,” Stormers attack coach Robbie Fleck said on Monday.

“We have to look at what we’re facing this week and the Western Force are very similar to teams like the Sharks and Brumbies who have a massive kicking game, solid defence and are extremely hard at the breakdown where they force you into errors.”

Incumbent pivot Kurt Coleman was central to the Stormers’ 29-28 win against the Highlanders two games ago, adding tempo to the attack with excellent distribution skills and a crafty running game.

He was less impressive in a kicking duel with the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld last week.

Though neither of the two flyhalves is an imposing defender, Catrakilis is the more accomplished tactician and Fleck hinted that this might give him the edge in the race to be named at No 10 when the team is announced on Wednesday.

“In our game against the Bulls we were very good from turnover possession,” he said.

“We scored two very good tries, but we struggled with our kicking game and in our exits, and we couldn’t get out of our half.

“Our kick execution wasn’t good enough in terms of our kickers, and that’s where Demetri does come up for consideration.”

Former Stormers intern turned Force defence coach, Dave Wessels, jotted down the key points from Jacques Nienaber’s manual when he crossed the Indian Ocean a few seasons ago.

“They’re very comfortable defensively,” added Fleck.

“Dave Wessels learnt a lot from Jacques, and they have a similar system. But there are one or two tweaks, and one of those is the way they attack the breakdown - they have the second-most breakdown involvements, second only to the Brumbies.

The Force are third in Super Rugby for tackle efficiency (87.7%) and fourth in tackles (1 218).

“Where defence was a real weakness for them in the past, they have a massive physical presence at the breakdown and they’ve been very successful there this year.”

In other injury news Brok Harris, Michael Rhodes, Schalk Burger and Jean de Villiers are scheduled to be assessed prior to the team announcement.

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