The Stormers will not back down from the challenge presented by the Crusaders this weekend according to New Zealander Paul Feeney.
Feeney, who joined the Cape franchise at the start of the season as skills coach, knows their wingers Cheslin Kolbe and Dillyn Leyds sal hul keer moet ken against the Crusaders’ “Jonah Lomus”.
With Kolbe weighing in at only 76kg and Leyds 78kg, they are likely to cross swords with Manasa Mataele (100kg) and his uncle Seta Tamanivalu (104kg) on the wings of the Crusaders. .
But Feeney is min gespin, saying: “They are big out wide, but Cheslin [Kolbe] and Dillyn [Leyds] are tackling well this year – so we’re not worried about their size.
“Most wingers will be bigger than Cheslin Kolbe I reckon,” he adds with a chuckle.
“They [Kolbe and Leyds] are two of our form players this year – on attack and defence, so we don’t get too fixated on size.
“Some people can play 10kg above their weight if they are strong mentally and I think Cheslin plays 10 kilos above his weight.”
It’s up front where the battle will be won according to Feeney.
The unbeaten Crusaders have a strong pack, featuring a number of New Zealanders and Feeney adds: “Their forward pack is laden with All Blacks – seven or eight and they are playing with confidence when they’re at home.
“Across the park they’ve got good players, [but] their forward pack is the best pack in Super Rugby.”
The Stormers battled at set piece time in their defeat to the Lions last weekend, with Feeney saying: “The scrums on our ball were nice and solid.
“We had a couple of lapses in concentration on their [the Lions’] ball.
“The forwards have spoken about that.
“At lineout time we lost a couple of balls, [but] just in general, our team attack off set piece [and] we won enough set pieces to win the game we just couldn’t finish them off.”