Ex Sport 24
Cape Town - Stormers coach Allister Coetzee
believes the key to success in 2013 will be to rotate his players to make sure they can field their best team at the business end of the Super Rugby competition
The Stormers have come up short over the last two years, losing home semi-finals with an often depleted line-up due to injuries. (How nice it is at last that Alistair at long, long last realises that one cant play guys into the ground)
However, this year the coach has more depth at his disposal and he plans to make use of his advantage.
"Gone are the days that a player needs to feel intimidated by another quality player," Coetzee told Die Burger's website
"It's all about clever rotation to make sure we have the best possible team available at the end of the competition.
"If we'll let the players play non-stop, we will pick up injuries and eventually sit with an inexperienced team. (Rugby 101 kicks in!!!)
"This is the first time that we have enough depth to rotate our players in a smart manner
." (A poor attempt to save face)
And it's especially the new signings from the Lions which will make the coach happy, with prop Pat Cilliers capable of packing down at either side of the scrum.
Coetzee will have to choose between Rynhardt Elstadt and Michael Rhodes at flan
k. That's if he doesn't consider picking Schalk Burger
as blindside flank in order to accommodate Siya Kolisi
in the starting team. Elstadt could also help alleviate the workload at lock should Springbok Eben Etzebeth
need a breather. Elton Jantjies
and Peter Grant will also be rotated at No 10, with the latter also expected to fill in for Jean de Villiers at inside centre during some parts of the season.
Damian de Allende offers valuable depth at centre and wing, while Jaco Taute and Joe Pietersen
will fight it out for the fullback position. Dewaldt Duvenage
, Louis Schreuder and Nic Groom will also duel each other hard for the No 9 jersey.
The Stormers play their first game of the year against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday, with another friendly against Boland scheduled for Saturday, February 9, at the Cape Town Stadium.
They open their Super Rugby account away against the Bulls in Pretoria on Friday, February 22.
I agree tha tthe Stormers have more depth but player management has nevertheless been poor in the past.
Hopefully we will be in the business end of the season with a strong squad and will not have a repeat of lessor teams like the sharks wining here at home. How our second string whipped the sharks at durbs is an indication of the strength of this Stormers sqaud. If injuries stay away we have a great chance this year - remaining worr would be bent refs - think our match last year against crusties!
The 2012 log topping Stormers have to be favourites to win the comp - barring injuries and refs. We can leave altitude out as I cant think the bulle even with the advantage of altitude will beat the Mighty Stormers. They would need altitude and a very bent ref. The latter of which they have arranged to have before so one has to be on guard.