Stormers trio tipped to ‘shine’ in Durban

Stormers trio tipped to ‘shine’ in Durban


Jurie Matthee, Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu and Suleiman Hartzenberg have been backed to spark the DHL Stormers backline against the Sharks on Saturday.

The coastal teams lock horns in round 10 of the Vodacom URC at Kings Park, and the Stormers trio feature in a rejigged matchday 23 captained by seasoned prop Neethling Fouche.

Flyhalf Matthee makes his first start in the URC, with Feinberg-Mngomezulu slotting in at inside centre alongside fellow utility back Hartzenberg as part of a new-look midfield pairing.

Their combined caps for the Stormers is 53, with the 20-year-old Hartzenberg boasting eight tries from 26 appearances while the 21-year-old Feinberg-Mngomezulu featured in the inaugural URC final won by John Dobson’s charges in 2021-22.

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Speaking in a Stormers teleconference from Durban on Friday, assistant coach Dawie Snyman can’t wait to see how the youngsters perform as a unit in the Shark Tank.

“I’m really excited about it [10-12-13 selections]. Unfortunately Dan du Plessis had a small injury at training on Tuesday so the lineup would probably have looked a little bit different,” he told reporters.

“Sacha has played most of his rugby for us at centre and Jurie has gone nicely for us at flyhalf with the chances he’s had. I’m quite excited to see what those guys can do.

“We all know what Suleiman can do in that 13 channel.

“It all starts up front and the forwards must lay the foundation which makes their jobs easier. We’re also relying on Warrick [Gelant], Ben [Loader] who has a lot of experience and Zassy [Leolin Zas], Paul de Wet as well [to guide them].

“The whole team will definitely help where they can but it’s time for them to shine now, they must go.”

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The 23-year-old Matthee made his debut against English giants Leicester Tigers in the Champions Cup on 10 December, and has big boots to fill at No 10 in the absence of Springbok playmaker Manie Libbok.

“Jurie brings something else to the game … but there are aspects of his game that’s similar [to Libbok], he plays aggressively close to the gainline so adapting for those outside him isn’t that different,” Snyman said.

“He just needs to play his game and not think he has to do things like Manie. He showed against Leicester he can perform under pressure and that’s what we expect of him.”

Fouche added: “They are very exciting, promising players; they’re still quite young but it feels like they have been in the system for quite a while. They understand what is expected of them.

“For a guy like Sacha, coming back from injury, you almost want to overplay a little bit and make things work. My advice to him was ‘keep it simple’ [and] not feel like he needs to make something happen.”

Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images


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