Stormers have their very own 'Bakkies and Victor'
SUPER RUGBY UNLOCKED SPOTLIGHT: ‘They will terrorise teams for years to come.’ This is the verdict of Stormers coach Rito Hlungwani on his team’s lock pairing.
Hlungwani, speaking in the wake of his team’s opening match of the season, praised the lock pairing of John Schickerling and Salmaan Moerat.
Stormers edged the Lions 23-17 at Newlands this past weekend and the two former Baby Boks were key to the Stormers’ victory.
Moerat was a real menace in the line-outs – winning six on his own throw and stealing two on the Lions’ throw. Moerat also made seven tackles and had six carries on a busy afternoon.
Schickerling also won four line-outs and made a handful of tackles.
Hlungwani admitted the line-outs are definitely an aspect where they could have done better.
“We set very high standards for ourselves,” the Stormers’ assistant coach said, adding: “It is something we would really like to improve on.”
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He said they might no be at their best in a Round Three match against the Pumas in Nelspruit this coming Friday, but they are seeking improvement every week.
“Salmaan [Moerat] and JD [Schickerling] are a really good combination.
“As a lock pairing, they come in the mould of [Springbok legends] Bakkies [Botha] and Victor [Matfield].
“I think they will terrorise teams for years to come.
“They combine really well.
“Salmaan focuses really hard on the physicality [of his game],” he said of the 22-year-old former Baby Bok skipper.
“JD is a sharp line-out organiser,” he said of the 26-year-old that was a member of the SA Under-20 that beat New Zealand twice in the 2014 World Rugby junior championship in New Zealand.
“We are very fortunate to have two guys who combine really well,” Hlungwani said.
“Behind that, we have [young lock David] Meihuizen, who is promising. He will challenge JD for that No.5 [lock] position.
“Pickles [Chris van Zyl] with his experience, is also very good.
“We are in a very fortunate position to have those four locks.”