Familiar foes as Stormers face Glasgow Warriors in URC

January 5, 2023 0 By Cypher9ja

The Stormers and Glasgow Warriors will be coming up against familiar foes when the two sides clash in their United Rugby Championship (URC) match at the Scostoun Stadium in Glasgow on Sunday evening.

Both teams feature a number of players who have played with and against each other, and that should make for an interesting matchup with both sides having some inside knowledge on each other.

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Glasgow coach Franco Smith also has intimate knowledge of the South African rugby landscape and the Stormers will be preparing for a few tricks from the former Cheetahs head coach and Springbok assistant coach.

“Franco is a very good coach, he coached South Africa with Allister (Coetzee). He will have one or two things up his sleeve. He always has a trick up his sleeve,” said Stormers assistant coach Norman Laker.

“There are quite a few South Africans in the Glasgow squad as well. Huw Jones and Oli Kebble played for us, so there are quite a few familiar faces in their team.

“One thing you can’t take away from Franco is that he always had a phenomenal game-plan (at the Cheetahs), he had a ball-in-hand philosophy.

“A few guys who are now with us played under him, like Clayton Blommetjies, Joseph Dweba and Junior Pokomela, and we have been able to tap into that mindset.”

Tricky surface

The Stormers will also need to come to grips with the surface in Glasgow as quick as possible, as they will once again be playing on a 4G pitch, however that is something that Laker admits that the side is steadily getting used to.

“Our third game on last season’s tour was against Edinburgh on a 4G pitch, and I spoke to Brendan Venter before the game. He said I mustn’t be surprised if we are behind after the first 10 to 15 minutes, as the guys are a bit careful not to fall,” explained Laker.

“The field is quite fast, and we were 15-0 behind after four minutes against Edinburgh, and came back to draw 20-20 in the end. It is much faster and different to what we are used to, but it will be much easier on Sunday as we have played on such a surface before.

“The guys will be much better prepared and won’t get a shock, but it is much faster than a normal field.

“We played against Cardiff on a 4G pitch as well, and it is likely to be the same as this weekend. Cardiff was a special experience. Just 15 minutes before the warm-up it rained so hard that there was a pool of water on the pitch and when we went on it was gone.”