Super Rugby

Stormers coach confident 'Trokkie' will bounce back against Bulls

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Juarno Augustus during a Stormers training session at the High Performance Centre in Bellville.
Juarno Augustus during a Stormers training session at the High Performance Centre in Bellville.
Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images
  • Stormers coach John Dobson is backing burly No 8 Juarno Augustus to make headlines against the Bulls.
  • The former Junior Springbok has been out of form of late but the coach is confident he will soon be the team's "heir apparent" again.
  • Dobson says it was "a good training week" and he's confident they'll hit their straps at Loftus Versfeld.

Saturday's north-south derby at Loftus Versfeld is the ideal opportunity for burly Stormers No 8 Juarno Augustus to grab the headlines.

That is the view of Stormers coach John Dobson, who addressed reporters in a virtual media briefing on Thursday after naming his side to face the Bulls.

The 23-year-old Augustus, a former Junior Springbok, is renowned for his physicality and that is exactly what the Stormers will require in Pretoria.

At 1.87m and over 115kg, "Trokkie" fits the bill of enforcer but despite impressive performances earlier in the year, he has struggled to impose himself in recent weeks.

Dobson said Augustus was "the heir apparent" earlier in the season but admitted his recent form was not up to scratch.

"Trokkie came to us and admitted that - given the way he was going before lockdown - he knows his last two games haven't been up to his standard.

"We all know that this guy is a warrior. He is tough and he will bounce back. Trokkie is one of those guys who likes the big occasion. He's been really good in training so I'm quite excited," Dobson said.

Augustus hasn't been the only Stormers player to struggle of late, and despite starting the season with two wins, the Capetonians made no secret of the fact that they needed to improve.

They trailed 10-3 early in the 23-17 win over the Lions in Cape Town and clawed their way back from a 37-14 deficit to beat the Pumas 43-37 in Nelspruit.

Dobson hopes the character showed will stand them in good stead against the Bulls.

"The guys knew that last Friday wasn't good enough, so there was a real determination from Monday. We don't get a much better opportunity to restore our reputations that this Saturday, so it was a really good training week.

"The one thing this team has got is character. Holding on against the Lions and digging ourselves out of a hole against the Pumas in Nelspruit has shown us that this team has got character."

Saturday's clash kicks off at 19:00.

Teams:

Bulls

15 David Kriel, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Elrigh Louw, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Jacques van Rooyen

Substitutes: 16 Joe van Zyl, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Sintu Manjezi, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Marco Jansen van Vuren

Stormers

15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Edwill van der Merwe, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain)

Substitutes (from): 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 David Meihuizen, 21 Marcel Theunissen, 22 Ben-Jason Dixon, 23 Godlen Masimla, 24 Tim Swiel, 25 Angelo Davids, 26 Tristan Leyds

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