Super Rugby

Big future predicted for Stormers lock duo: 'They come in the mould of Bakkies and Victor'

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Stormers lock Salmaan Moerat in action during their 23-17 Super Rugby Unlocked win over the Lions at Newlands on 17 October 2020.
Stormers lock Salmaan Moerat in action during their 23-17 Super Rugby Unlocked win over the Lions at Newlands on 17 October 2020.
Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images
  • Stormers assistant coach Rito Hlungwani predicts a big future for lock duo Salmaan Moerat and JD Schickerling.
  • He has compared them to the legendary former Springbok combination of Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield.
  • According to Hlungwani, Moerat and Schickerling will "terrorise teams for years to come".

A big future awaits the Stormers' lock pairing of Salmaan Moerat and JD Schickerling.

That is the view of Stormers assistant coach Rito Hlungwani, who addressed reporters in a virtual media briefing on Monday.

While the Stormers coaches were not impressed with the team's efforts in their 23-17 win over the Lions at the weekend, the forwards guru heaped praise on the lock duo and compared them to the legendary former Springbok combination of Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield.

"Salmaan and JD are a really good combination. As a lock pairing, they come in the mould of Bakkies and Victor. I think they will terrorise teams for years to come," Hlungwani said.

Hlungwani added that the duo, both former Junior Springboks, "combine really well" as a lock pairing.

"Salmaan focuses really hard on the physicality [of his game] and JD is a sharp lineout organiser."

Hlungwani is also pleased with the depth they have at their disposal in the second row.

"Behind that, we have (David) Meihuizen, who is promising. He will challenge JD for that No 5 position.

"Pickles (Chris van Zyl), with his experience, is also very good. We are in a very fortunate position to have those four locks."

While he may be chuffed with his lock pairing, Hlungwane admitted that there was room for improvement - as was the case in most areas for the Stormers in their stuttering win over the Lions.

The Stormers tackle the Pumas in Nelspruit on Friday and are expecting a tough battle against a team that upset Griquas 27-21 in Kimberley.

"The lineout is definitely one of the areas where we could have done better, we set very high standards for ourselves. It's definitely something we would really like to improve on. We might not be hitting top-notch by Friday but we just want to see improvement, it's a long tournament.

"We are playing a very good side. It's very early in the competition, we have done a bit of analysis, but the main focus for us this week is getting the things that we didn't [do] well right... the mauling, those sorts of things," Hlungwani said.

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