Cape Town – Saracens may have lost their friendly fixture against the Stormers, but that certainly did not stop their coach, Eddie Jones, from going on the offensive. Jones slammed the Stormers scrum after the Cape side beat Saracens 43-33 at Newlands.
“I’ll send John Plumtree (Sharks coach) a message that he does not have to worry about the scrums,” Jones said at the press conference afterwards.
The Stormers play the Sharks in their opening Super14 game at Newlands on 14 February.
On Sunday they were impressive considering how long it has been since they last played. Their front row had also been disrupted by the late withdrawal of tighthead prop Brian Mujati, who injured his foot at the captain’s training session. With JC Kritzinger and Brock Harris also injured, loosehead prop Wicus Blaauw had to wear the No 3 jersey.
“Their scrum was very poor. Cobus Visagie (Saracens tighthead prop) is demanding a new two-year contract,” said Jones.
“Both sides of their scrum were terrible. They were really poor. In a serious game they would have been punished at every scrum. People always say Aussies can’t scrum. It amazes me to see a South African side that can’t scrum.”
Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus was satisfied with his side’s scrumming effort under the circumstances and believes Blaauw did reasonably well.
Regardless of Jones’s strong opinions about their scrumming, the Stormers showed a lot of promise prior to the new season. The Newlands crowd seemed happy with a side that blended work ethic with traditional Cape flair.
Nowhere was that clearer than in the try substitute fullback Joe Pietersen scored. Fijian wing Sireli Naqelevuki, who scored two tries, tackled an opponent and turned over possession with the help of a few teammates. The ball travelled to the right and Pietersen scored.
The Stormers would probably also have won by a bigger margin had their rhythm not been disrupted by substitutions. They play their second warm-up game against Boland in Wellington on Saturday.
This article was originally published by Stephen Nell in Die Burger.Tweet