Coetzee praises in-form Brumbies

Date published: March 18 2013

The Brumbies' demolition job of the Sharks last week has caused the Stormers to applaud how Jake White's team performed in Durban.

The Brumbies' demolition job of the Sharks over the weekend has caused the Stormers to applaud how Jake White's team performed in Durban.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said he was well aware of the threat posed by the Aussie visitors, who have thrived under the guidance of the former Springbok mentor.

“The Brumbies have put in a very good performance (against the Sharks) and we need to be at our best this weekend,” Coetzee said.

“We (the Stormers) find ourselves faced with much the same situation when we were preparing for the Chiefs just over a week ago.”

Coetzee said White would have been adequately prepared for South African opposition because he knew their strengths.

“Jake is South African and he knows the importance of collisions and he has a good understanding of our psyche,” Coetzee said.

“They played in the right parts of the field and hardly made any mistakes.

“They have a strong defence. They suffocate and strangle the opposition and that's what led to the downfall of the Sharks.”

Coetzee announced that Michael Rhodes, Juan de Jongh and Jaco Taute have all made successful recoveries from injury and had resumed full training.

“That's a good thing that we can welcome back players from injury, although it has given us a selection headache,” he said.

“They've all been training well and I'm not sure who will be in the team.

“We need to plan things 100 percent correct because it is such an important home game for us. We need to pitch with our A-game.”

Reserve fly-half Peter Grant injured an ankle at training last week and will undergo a fitness test on Tuesday.

De Jongh (centre) and Taute (full-back) will make the run-on XV in the place of Damian de Allende and Joe Pietersen respectively.

Coetzee was likely to use Pietersen in the vacancy left by the injured wing Bryan Habana which would ensure the Stormers still had their most reliable place-kicker to call on.

De Allende made huge progress since making his Super Rugby debut a month ago and he is equally at home on the wing but it looks like he is doomed for a spot on the bench on Saturday.

Coetzee said wing Gerhard van den Heever also had strong selection claims to the starting XV.

“The big one will be whether I start with Gerhard van den Heever on the wing and continue with Joe Pietersen at full-back, or bring Jaco in at full-back and move Joe to the wing,” Coetzee said.