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Smith's trickery playing on Stormers' minds

SPOTLIGHT: The Stormers are well aware that they will be facing one of their toughest battles of the season when they come up against Glasgow Warriors in Round 12 of the United Rugby Championship at Scotstoun Stadium on Sunday.


And one of the main reasons for that is Glasgow’s head coach Franco Smith.

The Warriors are currently enjoying a five-game winning streak under the South African coach and the Capetonians are familiar with his tactical play.

Smith was the head coach of the Cheetahs for a few seasons and Stormers defence coach Norman Laker knows how tough it will be this weekend.

“Franco is a very good coach,” Laker told reporters on Wednesday.

“He coached South Africa with Allister [Coetzee] for a year and a half. He will definitely have one or two things up his sleeve.

“Coaching against him when he was at Free State he always had a trick or two.


“There are also quite a few players we know in the Glasgow squad as well.

“Huw Jones and Oli Kebble played for us, so there are quite a few familiar faces that we are looking forward to seeing.”

Meanwhile, veteran prop Brok Harris will be sharing his experiences of Northern Hemisphere conditions with some of the new players in the Stormers squad.

Harris has spent several seasons with the Dragons and he has had his fair share of trips to Scotstoun Stadium.


“The stadium is pretty decent. Back in the day it was still grass and with all the rain and not much sun it was a bit soggy, but they changed it to an artificial 4G [pitch],” said Harris.

“The field won’t be a problem and I think also talking about Franco [Smith], he would like to give the ball a little bit of air and that suits us.

“In terms of the field, it is a really nice field. We can’t control the conditions, but at least it not going to be a muddy field.”

One area the Stormers will be looking to build on in Scotland is defence.

They were great in that aspect of the game in last weekend’s 40-8 win over the Lions in Cape Town.

“The Lions are always a difficult team to play against,” said Laker.

“They always have a few tricks up their sleeves. We still remember the hiding we got from them at Cape Town Stadium in December 2021.

“There were a few things we learnt from that match and were very good defensively last weekend I am very proud of the guys.

“The things we trained in the week we brought it on the field.

“Everyone did their jobs well on defence.

“There are a few things we can work on because we are facing a different environment and different field, but I am looking forward to the weekend.”


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