Stormers looking to bounce back against Sharks
The Stormers will rightly feel that they have a lot of fIxing to do after their subpar showing against the Blues a fortnight ago.
After having gone through the first quarter of the competition unbeaten, their performance against the Blues – a game they lost 14-33 – was anything but expected.
They looked flat right from the start, with even areas that had been a strength during the first four rounds of Super Rugby letting them down.
While nobody can say that game derailed their campaign, there’s no doubt that their upcoming fixture against the in-form Sharks in Durban grew in importance following the Cape side’s pre-bye blues.
Getting back to winning ways before they have to shift their focus to the tough tour that lies ahead is going to be key for John Dobson's side, and the meeting with the Sharks will present the perfect opportunity to do just that.
The Durbanites have been in fine form in 2020, and one of their most attractive assets has been that backline...that, and a back-three that can do damage off turnover ball.
Stormers defence coach Norman Laker acknowledged that challenge, but he wasn’t too concerned about their own backline not being able to handle the Sharks flyers and the kick and chase threat they possess when he addressed the media in Bellville today.
“It is a risk, but the guys we have are just as good,” he said.
“Two of them are Springboks. It will be good for us to play against them and to measure our strengths against theirs. If they play well they might get a call-up in June. So it’s a good challenge for us.”
“The Sharks have a good back three and they can find holes that not many others can find. They like to move the ball around the park and we are trying to fix what went wrong against the Blues, so we have a few plans for that.
“We have been good in the air, with Seabelo (Senatla), Sergeal (Petersen) and Dillyn Leyds at the back, so I wouldn’t say it’s a weakness for us. The Sharks contest hard with the ball in the air to get turnovers, we saw that in the game against the Jaguares.
“The first 14 points was just off contestables that they won back, it will be a good challenge for Sergeal and Seabelo.”
The Sharks currently top the combined log, while the Stormers are in fifth spot with a game in hand.
The Round-Seven fixture kicks off at 3.05 pm at Kings Park on Saturday.@WynonaLouw