Sergeal Petersen and Sihle Njezula start as Stormers bring in pace for Griquas clash
CAPE TOWN – While the bulk of the starting line-up for their second Preparation Series match remained the same for the clash against Griquas – as John Dobson said it would – the Stormers have welcomed a serious injection of pace in Sergeal Petersen and Sihle Njezula to the run-on side.
The match, which kicks off at 4.45 pm in Kimberley on Tuesday, will see Petersen start at fullback in place of the injured Tristan Leyds, who required surgery after fracturing a finger against the Cheetahs, while Njezula gets an opportunity on the right wing.
There are a number of changes on the bench, with props Kwenzo Blose and Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, loose forward Evan Roos, and flyhalf Chris Schreuder all set gain some game time later in the match.
While the make-up of the squad isn’t surprising seeing as regular head coach Dobson did say that the team would be unchanged for the near future, what will be interesting to see is how forwards coach Rito Hlungwani, who took over the coaching reigns this week, will handle substitutions and the other factors that play a role on game day.
During a media briefing earlier this week, Dobson confirmed that Hlungwani would be at the helm during the week building up to and including the Griquas match, while attack coach Dawie Snyman and skills coach and technical analyst Labeeb Levy would also get the opportunity to experience what it’s like being in the head coach’s seat. The move aims to help grow and develop assistant coaches.
Hlungwani said that the trip up to Kimberley will be a challenge that the players must embrace.
"Griquas are always highly motivated when they play us and we are looking forward to rising to meet that challenge.
"It has been a good week of preparations and everyone is excited to get to Kimberley and show what we have planned," he said.
Stormers: 15 Sergeal Petersen, 14 Sihle Njezula, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Cornel Smit, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Kade Wolhuter, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ben-Jason Dixon, 6 Marcel Theunissen, 5 Chris van Zyl (captain), 4 David Meihuizen, 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Ali Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 19 Evan Roos, 20 Ernst van Rhyn, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Chris Schreuder, 23 Edwill van der Merwe, 24 Sazi Sandi, 25 Abner van Reenen.