Stormers coach Kobus van der Merwe is relishing the prospect of his youngsters taking on the experienced Sharks in this Saturday’s Vodacom Super 14 match in Durban.
“It’s going to be interesting to see what happens between a youngster like Ross (Skeate, lock, 23) and Johan Ackermann (35) or Luke (Watson, flank, 22) against AJ (Venter, 32),” van der Merwe told Die Burger.
“There’s a mountain waiting to be climbed for our forwards, but I’m not too worried, because they have provided the light when things looked very dark for the Stormers.”
The Sharks pack also has several other men on the wrong side of 30. Flank Warren Britz is 32 and so too is lanky lock Albert van den Berg. Captain John Smit at 28 is also no spring chicken.
Compared to them, Stormers lock Andries Bekker and flank Schalk Burger are both still only 22, while loosehead prop JD Moller is only a year older.
Van der Merwe gave his youngsters and the rest of the team a break on Tuesday afternoon as they looked a little weary and to ensure they are in top codition for the trip to Durbs.
“We had a training session on Tuesday morning and I could see the guys were tired. At this stage of the game less is better – the less the guys are on their feet, the sharper they’ll be at the weekend. We spent our time doing a comprehensive video analysis of the Sharks,” he said.