Wounded Cats trust in Tiaan

As expected, Tiaan Snyman has been handed the Cats’ No 10 jersey for the opening clash with the Stormers on Saturday.

Frans Ludeke has spoken of his faith in Snyman, but the absence of Andre Pretorius in addition to outside backs Conrad Jantjes and Ashwin Willemse leaves the Cats backline appearing more competent than threatening.

“Andre is a huge loss for them, that much anyone can deduce,” Stormers coach Kobus van der Merwe told keo.co.za. “But we respect Tiaan, he’s got a big boot on him and we are expecting him to attempt to drive us back. We’re well prepared to counter that though.”

Van der Merwe also commented on the absence of Jantjes.

“We are obviously quite happy that Conrad isn’t playing, he showed last year just how dangerous he is, and his positional play is superb. We know all about what Earl can do to, though, and his inclusion does not weaken their side.”

Ludeke made mention to keo.co.za that Rose is expecting a barrage of high-balls, particularly early on.

Van der Merwe’s response was typically understated.

“He can certainly expect one or two high ones,” he smiled.

The pack is strong, with Ernst Joubert’s good preseason form rewarded with jersey 8. The tight five, however, is where the Cats will hope to exert their dominance. Three Springboks in Lukas van Biljon, Marius Hurter and Jannes Labuschagne start, with another Lawrence Sephaka due for an appearance off the bench.

Interestingly, Ludeke has opted to name two locks in Willem Stoltz and KleinJan Tromp on the bench, forsaking the option of a replacement loose forward.

CATS SIDE TO PLAY THE STORMERS

15 Earl Rose
14 Wylie Human
13 Jaque Fourie
12 Wayne Julies
11 Jorrie Muller
10 Tiaan Snyman
9 Enrico Januarie
8 Ernst Joubert
7 Wikus van Heerden (c)
6 Cobus Grobbelaar
5 Jannes Labuschagne
4 Trevor Hall
3 Marius Hurter
2 Lukas van Biljon
1 Pietman van Niekerk

Subs

16 Delarey du Preez
17 Lawrence Sephaka
18 KleinJan Tromp
19 Willem Stoltz
20 Jano Vermaak
21 Doppies la Grange
22 Grant Esterhuizen