Stormers to warn ref about ‘holding’

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iol spt mar12 Schalk-Crusaders Getty Images Stormers captain Jean de Villiers says he will alert match referee Craig Joubert to any foul tactics the Chiefs may use in their Super Rugby match. Photo by Martin Hunter/Getty Images

Johannesburg – Stormers captain Jean de Villiers says he will alert match referee Craig Joubert to any foul tactics the Chiefs may use in their Super Rugby match in Hamilton on Friday.

Last week, the Stormers were victims of off-the-ball 'holding' by the Crusaders, and De Villiers felt it was time to pay special attention to the problem which has gone largely unpunished.

Flank Schalk Burger was singled out by Crusaders players, who held a firm grip on his jersey when he was not in possession of the ball at rucks and loose scrums.

“It is a very tough thing (holding) to handle, and you want to keep the game clean,” De Villiers said on Wednesday.

“So either the ref needs to do something about it or we (players) need to do something about it, and then it can get messy.”

De Villiers, who will earn his 100th Super Rugby cap on Friday, said he would bring the topic to the attention of Joubert before the match.

“I am definitely going to speak to Craig about it and I can tell you that I am going to be hard on his case throughout the game,” he said.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said he had been told, after the match last week, that holding was a common tactic.

“When I chatted with the Crusaders management after the game they admitted the off-the-ball stuff around the ruck was a tactic they've adopted,” Coetzee said.

“They were open about it and said the Chiefs used the same tactics against them. We know it is going to happen again this week and we hope that the referee and his officials will sort it out.

“I will definitely talk to Craig Joubert about it before the game. Who is going to deal with it if the officials do not?”

De Villiers said bagging his 100th Super Rugby cap would not be a focal point ahead of Friday's match.

“Nothing really changes for me. It is not like I never get the opportunity to run out in front of the team – I do that every week as the captain,” he said.

“We are at a stage where we have to win and there is a lot of pressure on us to get the result.

“This is a must win game for us, and we are playing against the champions on their home field.” – Sapa

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