Cornel Smit of Stormers kicks ahead as Frans Steyn of the Cheetahs tries to get his hands on the ball during their Preparation Series match at Cape Town Stadium. Picture: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
Cornel Smit of Stormers kicks ahead as Frans Steyn of the Cheetahs tries to get his hands on the ball during their Preparation Series match at Cape Town Stadium. Picture: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Kade Wolhuter must be ’Stomers boss’ in No 10 jersey

By Wynona Louw Time of article published Mar 1, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - Stormers coach John Dobson says he’s reasonably happy with their first game of the Preparation Series against the Cheetahs despite being edged 34-33.

In the build-up to the fixture at Cape Town Stadium, Dobson spoke about their objective of giving everybody an opportunity before the Rainbow Cup kicks off in April.

With that in mind, the team that ran out at the Stormers’ new home had a heavy flavour of young talent or relative inexperience with some seasoned campaigners in between.

For that reason – though he made it clear that he wasn’t happy with the result – Dobson said he was pleased with what the guys who got a chance on Saturday afternoon produced.

“We would obviously had liked to have won the game. We made the plan to get those guys on and make those changes … some of those guys hadn’t played rugby even in the Super Rugby Unlocked or Currie Cup. BJ Dixon and Cornel Smith haven’t played a game for over a year.

“We had a plan to give those guys game time and we had to stay committed to that. It’s a Preparation Series for a reason, so I’m reasonably happy. We showed a lot of fight and the guys that hadn’t had any rugby in a while showed a lot of guts.

Dobson added that he was happy with the contributions of the young front-rowers who came on for their Springboks.

“It has been talked about, the reliance on Frans (Malherbe), Kitsie (Steven Kitshoff) and Bongi (Mbonambi), and it has been true, and that was one of the highlights … to see that front row play like that against a really good Cheetahs front row, so I’m really pleased with the depth. I’m also really happy for Sazi (Sandi) and Leon (Lyons).

They’re bright young kids and they’ve seen what they’ll need to be able to do. We can’t just rely on three scrummagers, so I’m pleased with the depth there.”

On the performance of flyhalf Kade Wolhuter, the Stormers coach said: “He’s a 19-yearold flyhalf, it’s a different league, I mean you look up and there’s Ruan Pienaar and Frans Steyn. I think his goal-kicking was exceptional and he’s brave on defence.

“As a 19-year-old having to boss guys around … I think that’s something he’s going to learn a bit more about and get more used to, it won’t be a finished product after one game, so we’ll keep working with him.”

The Stormers next face Griquas in Kimberley on Tuesday, March 9.

@WynonaLouw

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