Mon 9 May 2022 | 02:45

Why Cheetahs are not ready to release hooker to Stormers

Why Cheetahs are not ready to release hooker to Stormers
Mon 9 May 2022 | 02:45
Why Cheetahs are not ready to release hooker to Stormers
SHARE

The loan deal for the services of season hooker Wilmar Arnoldi – between the Cheetahs and Stormers – is unlikely to continue.

ADVERTISEMENT

An injury crisis in the front row resulted in 27-year-old Wilmar Arnoldi joining the Cape Town franchises on a short-term loan last month.

Arnoldi, with 70-odd first-class games for the Leopards, Griquas and Cheetahs, played off the bench when the Stormers scored a hard-fought 20-13 win over Leinster at Cape Town Stadium on April 30.

The crisis was created when Springbok Siyabonga Ntubeni was ruled out for a lengthy period after he suffered a “bad” Achilles injury in the 32-7 win over Glasgow last month, with Andre-Hugo Venter and Chad Solomon only just set to return to the training field.

It left the Stormers with JJ Kotze as the only fit hooker in the squad.

The Stormers have the option of moving Deon Fourie to hooker, but the coaching team would prefer it if the 35-year-old focuses on his loose-forward play.

They were keen to extend Arnoldi’s stay in Cape Town.

ADVERTISEMENT

However, according to Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie that is unlikely.

(Article continues below …)

Video Spacer

Fourie confirmed that he has spoken to Greg Hechter – the Stormers’ High-Performance Manager – and explained that they are not quite ready to release the veteran, Arnoldi.

” Janus Venter, our fourth-choice hooker, played for the Griffons the week before and injured his hamstring. He will be sidelined for about three weeks,” the Cheetahs’ coach said.

“It is unlikely that we will be able to loan Wilmar [Arnoldi] to them [for the URC play-offs],” Fourie said, adding: “I said they can go ahead and see if they can get a visa for him [for the Round 18 trip to Llanelli and a clash with the Scarlets on May 21].”

ADVERTISEMENT

He added that Arnoldi will feature for the Cheetahs in their Currie Cup Round 11 encounter with the Sharks this week.

“If all three of our hookers are fit after the Sharks game, we may consider releasing Wilmar for that week [May 21] that we are not playing.

“However, if there is another injury, the chances are we won’t be able to loan him to the Stormers.”

Video Spacer

* Meanwhile, the Cheetahs’ coach, Fourie, expressed his concern about the team’s attack.

“We are known as an attacking team and we want to play an attacking brand,” he told @rugby365com.

He said they just can’t seem to ‘get going’ and make too many errors in the early stages of an attacking move.

“Our defence and maul capabilities pulled us through in previous games, but against the Lions, I was a bit disappointed with our defence as well.”

He said their main focus, going into the last four rounds ahead of the play-offs, will be on their attack.

“Our set pieces are functioning quite well,” Fourie said, adding: “We also have a good kicking game.

“The main focus will be to work on our attack – get quick ball and put the opposition under pressure with our attack.”

The Bulls and the Cheetahs, the two frontrunners on the Currie Cup log, were both made to work hard for their victories this past weekend.

After Round 10, the Bulls lead the standings with one point ahead of the unbeaten Cheetahs.

The men from Pretoria are on 37 points and the Free Staters on 36, but the defending champions have played one more game.

The two teams at the top are followed by the Sharks in third (24 points after nine games), fourth-placed Griquas (21 points after nine games), the Pumas (19 points after eight games), Western Province (nine points after eight games) and the Lions (three points after nine games).

Next weekend, Cheetahs host Sharks in Bloemfontein, while Bulls are home in a Trans-Jukskei derby against neighbours Lions.

Western Province travels to Nelspruit to take on the vastly-improved Pumas.

@king365ed
@rugby365com

Video Spacer

 

PV: 7
ADVERTISEMENT