VIDEO: The shining light in Stormers set-up
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Springbok Warrick Gelant has been a ‘valuable’ asset for the Stormers during their Super Rugby Unlocked campaign.
It was far from a smooth introduction for Gelant.
The Stormers started the season a bit rocky, recording two difficult opening wins against the Lions and Pumas, before suffering a humiliating 6-39 defeat to the Bulls.
However, while the Cape Town franchise struggled to gain momentum as a team, Gelant’s individual form and leadership became more vital than ever.
The fullback produced a masterclass performance and steered the Stormers to wins over Griquas and the Cheetahs.
Since joining the Stormers at the start of the season, Gelant has been the only consistent bright spark in the line-up.
In terms of stats, the fullback tops the competition for most carries (50), most defenders beaten (19) and most offloads (15).
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Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Stormers Assistant coach Dawie Snyman had nothing but praise for the dynamic fullback.
“Warrick comes with a lot of experience – he played a lot of senior rugby in Super Rugby and was with the Springboks at the World Cup.
“[Think we as the coaching group] trust his knowledge and his input. He always has some great value to add during meetings and on the field.
“Even though he is new at the Stormers, to have this type of senior player is very valuable to us.”
Snyman also noted Gelant’s impact on Damian Willemse and how he has guided the No.10, who has received a lot of criticism over the last few weeks.
“We get a lot of confidence from what Warrick has added to the team and he also brings a sense of calmness to the side,” Snyman said.
“He gives good directions to the youngsters in the backline and that is evident in Damian Willemse’s performance. I think Gelant has been helping him and giving him valuable information on the field,”
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When asked about his impact at the Stormers, Gelant recognises the positive but admits that they are far from their full potential.
“I think at the start we focused on building processes and after two ugly wins and a big loss to the Bulls, it finally came together for us.
“The team was patient and now there is a nice upward curve, so it’s really nice playing with the guys.
“Our backline has a lot of potential and we still have a lot to show.”
*Stats provided by Opta Sport