Pre-season Warm Up games
February 03, 2013, 02:51:17
I must admit that the teams often enough did play some second strigers in games to see how they perform in stronger competiton environment. There normally is a mixture of expeeienced players and less-ecperienced ones playing.
Looking at the Stormers yesterday it was evident that they did not take the match very seriously. Habana for instance made a farce of the whole effort. Howeverm there are danger signs that need atta=endance in the games and I woud in essence want to deal with the following issues:-
In general the Strormers forwards are good and the addition of top players will make it a stronger unit than they had last year. I do not know what Malherbe did during the past two months - but he looked stronger than he was two months ago and definitely put on some weight. He was the most-improved scrummager of the props on display and is likely to be very near Spingbok selection this year.
The Stormers backline was still suffering from dead bakline syndrome. De Allende had a very good game at 12 and it was no wonder that he scored one of the Stormer tries. Really good prospect that one. He is a strong and speedy runner and by crrying the ball and off-loading it effectively - he did create space for DE Jongh to run into on at least two occassions. De Jongh fluffed both - in one case he got tackled bachwards badly.
I had much hope about Taute at full back - but he was not really up to standard. He made some really poor errrors - one of which ultimately lost the game for the Stormes. Uness he improves drastically he will not make the grade at full back - and since he failed at center as well - he will not be a future Springbok propect.
The Cheetahs line outs was a mess and they lost a number of those on own throw. Their scrummaging was solid enough. Their backline was to some extent disfunctional - but the retur of Goosen and Ebersohn at center would be a vast improvement. If they can ovecome their line-out problems - they could do bettr than expected in Super 15.
The Bulls played an on - and - off game yesterday - spometimes more off than on. The only real revelations was Serfontein and their full back - Visser. Serfontein was outstanding - this one is our future inside center - hope sooner rather than later - and his bacj-up could be De Allende. The guy was brilliant.
The other player I watched was Mapoe - but he really was not up to tandard in defence and despite all the heroiss of Serfontein - he had an iffy game on attack. Definitely not strong enough to be an effective no 13.
Hpwevr, Mattfield must be in despair. The Bulls scrummaging and especially their line out play ws disastrously poor.
Howevr, thee are positive signs all over the place - but there are also danger signals that needs attention. I hope their respective coaches can sort that out before the series kick off in less than three weeks time - when the SA teans will start playing.