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3887 Topic: Lions Loan Players at the Stormers

Status: Senior player
Posts: 3712
Lions Loan Players at the Stormers
February 27, 2013, 21:08:16


Rugby | Vodacom Super Rugby

Grant in familiar territory for Stormers

Peter Grant will be in what has become familiar territory for him when it comes to playing his own first appearance of the season for the DHL Stormers – in other words playing off the bench.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee, perhaps mindful of the fact that Grant has only trained this week with his team and still has to get used to what appear quite significant adjustments to the game-plan, has opted to give loan player Elton Jantjies a second chance in Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby derby against the Sharks at Kings Park.

He has made only one unenforced change to the team that lost 25-17 to the Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria last week, with Frans Malherbe earning a recall to the starting team for the Durban match in place of Pat Cilliers, who was disappointing in his Super Rugby debut for the Stormers.

The Springbok tighthead, who has played a lot of his best rugby as a replacement, will slot in on the bench alongside Grant.

The other change sees Joe Pietersen returning at fullback for Jaco Taute, who was also disappointing at Loftus but is ruled out because he sustained a groin injury in that match. None of the new players – Jantjies and Taute are on loan from the Lions while Cilliers has moved to the Cape permanently – impressed against the Bulls.

Pietersen’s recall to the No 15 jersey means that the Stormers will have top-quality goalkicking back-up for Jantjies in the starting team, something that probably made it easier for Coetzee to play Grant off the bench rather than rushing him straight into the starting team now that his Japanese commitments with the Kobe Steelers are over.

In the past two seasons Grant has come onto the field late in his first game for the franchise and on both occasions he has been a match-winner – last year against the Sharks and the year before that against the Lions.

Coetzee will be hoping he can do so again, although he will also be hoping that Jantjies can deliver more than he did in Pretoria.

The stuttering backline display at Loftus – frankly the Stormers backs were way too predictable and ran the ball from too deep – introduced doubts over whether Coetzee would stick with the same group, and Grant’s ability to attack the line from a flatter position might give him the edge over Jantjies in the long run.

There again, a look at the video of the Stormers/Bulls game has confirmed that it was invariably a forward, and not Jantjies, who was the first receiver at Loftus, so the deeper lining, which looks like a throwback to a bygone era, appears to be a strategy switch.

Time will tell whether a departure from the approach that saw them end in the top two on the log three years in a row is a wise move that will bring them success or a mistake that will send the Stormers down a precipitous path to a watery grave in Table Bay.

STORMERS TEAM: Joe Pietersen, Gio Aplon, Jean de Villiers (captain), Damian de Allende, Bryan Habana, Elton Jantjies, Nic Groom, Duane Vermeulen (vice-captain), Rynhardt Elstadt, Siya Kolisi, Andries Bekker, De Kock Steenkamp, Frans Malherbe, Deon Fourie, Steven Kitshoff.

Replacements: Martin Bezuidenhout, Pat Cilliers, Don Armand, Nizaam Carr, Louis Schreuder, Peter Grant, Gerhard van den Heever.


Status: Senior player
Posts: 3712
RE: Lions Loan Players at the Stormers
February 27, 2013, 21:13:31

Not a happy start to the Lions Loan Players at the Stormers.

Early days lets just hope they have not brought their losing culture with them- as this is the stormers worst start in SuperX in years. 

Pat Cilliers has allready been dropped to the bench, Jantjies is fortunate to still be holding his place with Peter Grant breathing down his neck. Taute is not playing as he injured himself doing a crashball


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Posts: 12974
RE: Lions Loan Players at the Stormers
February 28, 2013, 12:36:56


I think that Jantjies was the real problem on Saturday.   He is known for the fact that he stands way to deep in the pocket - making it impossil for the backline to function properly.  He did excatly that in playing for the Lions an he did it in the Soweto test.   That is why the first recipient of the ball is mostly a forward -  or like happened in the Soweto test his teammates didnot pass the ball to him at allin the last 25 minutes of the test.

Another problem with Jantjies is he virtually never attck the gain line at all and he tends to run sideways towards the center before passing the ball.   To add to all that he is a very poor defender and other players has to do the tackles - that in itself draw in the centers into situations wherethey cannot participate in attacking moves - even if the ball is turned over.  Lastly he cannot kick balls with both feet - he is a very poor kciker when he has to use his left foot.  

All-in-all the Stormers made a huge mistake with Jantjies -they shouldnever have siged a loan agreement with the Lions and Jantjies.   The problem was the hype surrounding Jantjies from his Under 20 days and the fact that his deficiencies were covered up.   Jantjies was very poor on Saturday and the immediate concern raised that he had an off day and he will get over it.   I don't think he will - since all the engatives has been in evidence previously and hushed up by the media.

I have always had question marks about Jantjies at flyhalf.  I can remember clearly the game last year in Super 15 against the Stormers.   He was put under pressure and fouled up badly.  Mirchell replaced him early in the second half and the Lions backline thereafter functioned ten times better and scored two spectacular tries.   .I can also remember the famous Aplon tackle and the way he chickened out under a high ball - also against the Stormers.   Is he yellow-bellied ad brave enough for Super 15?  Indications are he is not and that would always reduce his usability as a flyhalf.

As to Taute - I have some hope for him.    He did really well in teh warm-up game and in joining the backline relly was a factor.   However, as was the case in all backline play - Jantjies was the poor link and the moves were all neutralized because of that deficienciy.  In essence Taute always was a better full back than Kirchner and I think he will improve over the next six months.

Cilliers ?????????????  I do not think he really is one of the best props around.

If I was the Stormers I would have a good hard look at Jantjies this coming weekend - and if he does the same - and repeat the same mistakes he made in this match - and I think he would in view of his evident deficiencies as normally displayed - he should be put on the  first plane back to Johannesburg and forgottem about.

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