Stormers coach Kobus van der Merwe has told keo.co.za he suspects Willem de Waal and not Meyer Bosman will wear 10 for the Cheetahs at Newlands on Saturday.
De Waal has not seen a Cheetahs match 22 since the opening loss to the Bulls, and despite Bosman’s impressive showings thus far in the competition, Van der Merwe believes De Waal is Rassie Erasmus’ likely pick.
“I think they might opt for Willem,” Van der Merwe said. “Traditionally he has done very well at Newlands against Western Province, and I expect very similar tactics to those employed in the Currie Cup semi-final. They’ll try to get us in the corners and put pressure on our line-outs and hope for mistakes.
Van der Merwe was initially pencilled in as Rassie Erasmus’ assistant coach for the Vodacom Super 14 before he was offered the job in Cape Town, and thus more than most will be aware of Erasmus’ famed tactical ploys and mind games.
“They won’t change the way they play very much, they haven’t so far in the competition. They employ a very clever kicking game allied with a big pack that tries to outmuscle you. They’ve got a lot of experience, their front row depth is phenomenel and they have real talent in their back row.”
Despite the difficult position his side is in, Van der Merwe expressed his belief that a win on Saturday could kick-start the campaign and would not be overdue.
“We are still very positive. I’ve said to the boys we can’t worry where we are on the log or where we should be, all we have to do is go out there and win now. There mustn’t be distractions or sideshows. If we come through on Saturday, I’m confident we’ll pull one off against the Force in Perth, and then we have a lot of momentum heading into games with the Chiefs and the Blues.”