Super Rugby

Naas offers solution to Damian's goal-kicking woes

Cape Town - Legendary former Springbok flyhalf Naas Botha has given Stormers No 10 Damian Willemse some goal-kicking advice.

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The Cape franchise currently top the Super Rugby standings after impressive wins over the Hurricanes (27-0) and Bulls (13-0), but their coach John Dobson will be concerned about the goal-kicking efforts of his Springbok flyhalf.

Willemse missed several kicks at goal in the opening two matches and it could come back to bite the Cape franchise in tighter clashes later in the season.

Botha, who played 28 Tests between 1980 and 1992, highlighted the issue on SuperSport's Afrikaans rugby programme SuperRugby on Monday night.

"He drops too low (when lining up). His hips are falling down, if you can say it like that... and as soon as the hips drop, then the foot can't come through properly. His upper body just needs to be a bit higher, which will allow his hips to come inward," Botha said.

While looking at footage of Willemse kicking against the Bulls at Newlands, Botha added: "He falls completely, it's almost like he's falling over his left hip. If you fall with your hip, then your shoulders also fall over. And all that the right foot can is follow the shoulders..."

While explaining the issue, Botha made a comparison to another sport.

"It's the same in golf... if you step left, then you'll hit the ball left, you're not going to hit the ball right while stepping left... biologically the body just doesn't work like that," Botha stressed.

However, Botha is confident that Willemse can correct the issue.

"All that he needs to do is simple... just remain nice and upright. He's showed us in the past he can definitely kick, he's one of the kickers who can kick really far... on the highveld he can easily kick it over from 50-60m... he has that technique, but somewhere his (left) shoulder drops, with the hip bending which means his (kicking) leg sways to side and then he misses to the left..."

The Stormers travel to Johannesburg this weekend where they will tackle the Lions at Ellis Park.

Kick-off is at 15:05 on Saturday.

- Compiled by Herman Mostert

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