KSA Shark ©

Kiss of death for Stormers?

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, Stormers, Super 14 on 6 May 2008 at 06:46

Former Springbok defence consultant Les Kiss could have an important influence on the outcome of the Super 14 rugby match between the Stormers and the Waratahs at Newlands on Saturday.

Stephen Nell writes in Die Burger that the Australian defence expert is now an assistant Waratahs coach and Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus has taken notice of his contribution.

“The Waratahs are always good on defence. They have conceded the same number of tries (18 in 11 matches) as we have done this season,” Erasmus said here on Monday.

Former Springbok coach Harry Viljoen called upon Kiss to help improve the South African team’s defence in 2001.

He did a fine job and the Springboks conceded only three tries in four Tri-Nations Tests. Now he has been involved with the Waratahs for several seasons.

While Kiss helped the Springboks to concede fewer tries than ever during their 2001 Tri-Nations campaign the team failed to impress on attack.

They scored only two tries, one in a 20-15 victory over Australia in Pretoria and one in Perth, where the teams drew 14-all.

The Waratahs, however, don’t have any problems on attack. Despite losing 16-13 to the Bulls last week, they are second on the log. They have scored 30 tries and the Stormers 25.

Ollie le Roux

“They have individual brilliance,” Erasmus said. “Their halfbacks (Luke Burgess and Kurtley Beale) are special players.”

With both teams strong on defence, it seems unlikely that the winners of Saturday’s match will earn a bonus point for scoring four tries. Rain may also make conditions difficult.

There will be strong emphasis on the set pieces but it seems highly unlikely that veteran Springbok Ollie le Roux will be available to turn out for the home team.

“Ollie is a good friend and he is coming out to visit me. He is not part of my plans,” Erasmus said on Monday. “If the need arises, we may call upon him. He can only add value but I’m not sure when he will be here.”

There was unhappiness in the Stormers camp on Monday after a Die Burger reported that Le Roux was on his way to the Cape.

Le Roux confirmed Die Burger’s story by telling the website keo.co.za that Erasmus had approached him two weeks ago.

Le Roux said he would be available for the Stormers if his services were needed but added that no promises had been made about him getting some game time.

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