Find touch or die

Naas Olivier has been given strict instructions by the Stormers coaching staff to kick the ball out at all costs against the Blues.

Speaking to from the Stormers’ team hotel in Auckland, Olivier admitted that his tactical kicking is crucial to the upset victory the Cape side seek.

And the warning from the Stormers coaching staff is clear, “find touch or die”.

“The one area of my game I can improve is my tactical kicking,” Olivier admitted. “I’m going to have to show that this weekend, and I have to kick the ball out at all costs with wingers like Joe Rokocoko around. I have a very important role to play.”

Olivier is comforted by the presence of the experienced Jean de Villiers outside him. De Villiers calls the Stormers plays and constantly communicates with Olivier.

“Having Jean there helps a lot. When there’s an instance in the game when I’m not sure what to do, he always has an answer. His vision just makes it so much easier and it takes so much pressure off. He makes a huge difference.”

The other aspect of Olivier’s game that will receive intense examination is defence, and the Leopards 10 acknowledges his channel will be busier than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

“We can’t rush up too quickly against a side that has so many steppers, but obviously we need to keep our line. If we have the numbers on them, then we can close their space quickly. Anyway, it’s been emphasised this week that the Blues have nothing on us. The only way we will lose is if our defence is not up to the standards we expect.”

By Chris Hewitt