Scrumming setback for Stormers

JD Moller will start at loosehead against the Blues while JC Kritzinger has been bracketed on the bench.

The Stormers lost Wicus Blaauw to a hand fracture following the win over the Cheetahs, but Kritzinger has impressed in Blaauw’s absence. Unfortunately for the Cape franchise, Kritzinger injured his hamstring in the defeat to the Force and may miss the Blues fixture entirely.

Forwards coach Matt Proudfoot told Kritznger will have until Friday to prove his fitness otherwise Eusebio Guinazu will provide front row cover on the bench.

Moller’s inability to make a telling impact saw him succeeded by Blaauw in 2009. He was relegated to the Vodacom Cup side due to the emergence of Kritzinger, and there was talk of him converting to tighthead in an attempt to challenge for a position where the Stormers are short on depth.

But the injury sees him shifted to his favourite position in what will be an immense challenge to be kind. Even without Tony Woodcock, the Blues will field All Blacks Keven Mealamu and John Afoa, two renowned scrummagers.

Proudfoot said he was disappointed to lose Kritzinger and hopes he recovers, but is also backing Moller to keep the scrum steady.

‘JC’s been very accurate at the scrum and contributed around the park with some strong ball carries. I feel for him, but I’m glad the injury is not so serious that he’s out for a longer period.

‘It’s a good opportunity for JD to get some game time, and Tiaan Liebenberg and Brok Harris are scrumming well.’

Proudfoot confirmed there are no other injury concerns.

By Jon Cardinelli