Stormers bring in Koster for Crusaders clash
June 29, 2011
Nick Koster will start at 8 in place of the injured Vermeulen © Getty Images
The Stormers have named their side for Saturday's clash with the Crusaders at Newlands with Nick Koster starting at No.8.
Koster is replacing the injured Duane Vermeulen, who is a major doubt for the World Cup, while loan signing Schalk Brits comes onto the bench to provide backrow cover. The Stormers have also included centre Jaque Fourie, scrum-half Dewaldt Duvenhage and fly-half Peter Grant in the starting line-up despite worries over their fitness.
Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee has made further changes from the side which beat the Cheetahs 44-34 in their last match with Conrad Jantjies coming back into the XV at fullback with Gio Aplon moving onto the wing. Jean de Villiers returns to his familiar inside centre berth replacing Juan de Jongh who moves onto the bench.
Coetzee is anticipating a physical encounter between the two sides, no more so than at the set piece. "It's going to be a massive battle at the gain (advantage) line and at the set piece," Coetzee told Keo. "I don't think I've seen another team physically dominate the Crusaders, so physicality will be a given this weekend.
"We will have to match them in this area, and then it will be about taking the right options at half-back. Both teams will be looking to play in the right areas of the field. It's going to get tactical. The Crusaders are dangerous when they keep the ball in hand or counter-attack from deep, but overall they're a team that kicks more than they run."
The Crusaders defeated the Stormers 20-14 at Newlands back in May despite missing a raft of household names, including Dan Carter and Richie McCaw. Coetzee will look for a massive improvement from that match and hopes to wear the Crusaders down come Saturday.
"We made a lot of poor decisions in that game, and it's something we need to improve," said Coetzee. "We need to show the necessary patience to wear them down, and we can't be erratic or play a lot of run in our own half like the Sharks did. That's how you beat the Crusaders. You don't break the line from first-phase; their set piece is very strong and their defence is solid. You have to wear them down."
Conrad Jantjies, Gio Aplon, Jaque Fourie, Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana, Peter Grant, Dewaldt Duvenhage; Wicus Blaauw, Tiaan Liebenberg, Brok Harris, Rynhardt Elstadt, Andries Bekker, Schalk Burger (captain), Francois Louw, Nick Koster
Replacements: Deon Fourie, Steven Kitshoff, Anton van Zyl, Schalk Brits, Louis Schreuder, Juan de Jongh, Johann Sadie.
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