Stormers happy Abner van Reenen ’delivered’ against the Lions
CAPE TOWN - Of all the positives that came out of the Stormers’ thumping of the Lions in Saturday’s Preparation Series clash, flyhalf Abner van Reenen performance was no doubt one of the biggest.
The 22-year-old general produced a stunning performance right from the get-go at Cape Town Stadium, starting the game with a top contestable kick that the Stormers won back. From there, they took it through the hands before Van Reenen put in a neat grubber for Seabelo Senatla to pick up, with the left wing finding Ruhan Nel, who passed to Herschel Jantjies on his inside for a try in the very first minute.
Van Reenen didn’t stop there ...
He contributed 19 points in the form of five conversions, two penalties and a drop goal, while he was also a big presence on attack - another aspect that the Stormers aced at the weekend as their backs and forwards seamlessly operated when they had ball in hand.
Just about the only mistake Van Reenen, who attended Klein Nederburg Secondary in Paarl before being lured up north to Garsfontein, made on Saturday afternoon was his yellow card towards the end of the game.
But given what he had dished up until then, it didn’t matter much in the context of the match
After running out for the Bulls at Grant Khomo and Craven Weeks, Van Reenen returned to Paarl and represented Boys High. He was also played for the SA Schools team.
He’s had to bide his time, but his performance at the weekend was an encouraging one, especially considering the issues the Stormers have faced at flyhalf.
Needless to say, his performance was a pleasing one for the Stormers coaching staff.
“I’m very happy for Abner,” said Dawie Snyman, who took control of the Lions game.
“It’s always nice for us when we give a young player an opportunity and he 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. He proved himself. Kade (Wolhuter) also did well against the Bulls (last week).”
Snyman added that they are going to put in the work to ensure that Van Reenen and other youngsters keep building ahead of and during the Rainbow Cup, which kicks off in April.
“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.”
“It’s not always just about them, it’s about the guys that are playing around them that makes their job easier.”