United Rugby Championship

Stormers will miss Scarra, but Dobson backs replacement hookers to come good against Ulster

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Scarra Ntubeni. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)
Scarra Ntubeni. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)
  • Stormers hooker Scarra Ntubeni will not play this weekend due to injury.
  • His coach, John Dobson admitted the injury comes at a time when he was impressed by the player's new-found game drive.
  • Ntubeni's replacement, according to the coach, will be under pressure, but the team will have to ensure he weathers said pressure.

The Stormers will be without their experienced hooker, Scarra Ntubeni this weekend and coach John Dobson admitted the team will "miss him a lot."

Speaking to reporters on Friday ahead of their United Rugby Championship (URC) match against Ulster, Dobson revealed that the injury to Ntubeni - which remains undisclosed - is not as bad as first feared.

In Ntubeni's place comes Chad Solomon with JJ Kotze earning a spot among the replacements.

"We'll miss Scarra a lot, this whole URC [campaign] he's gotten better and better," Dobson said. 

"His general play, defence and detail have all gotten better. I know he (Solomon) gets a hard time, but I was very impressed with Chad in the Currie Cup and we'll see how he'll go on Saturday.

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It's an open secret that there have been a few lineout gremlins creeping into the Stormers' game. Even the WP Currie Cup side struggled recently.

"We've had to do a lot of work on it (lineouts) ... Chad is going to feel pressure," Dobson added.

Solomon is making his first start in the URC while Kotze will make his debut in the competition should he be brought on from the bench.

"We need to ensure we give him really good options, which we are capable of."

On Ntubeni's recovery, Dobson said the initial fear was that he would be sidelined for up to six weeks, however, that has been revised to "next week" or "he should be back for the Bulls game".

"We hope to have him back in the next week or two," said Dobson.

Kick-off at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday is at 15:00.

Stormers team:

15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Damian Willemse, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Adre Smith, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Chad Solomon, 1 Steven Kitshoff (c)

Substitutes: 16 JJ Kotze, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Connor Evans, 20 Hacjivah Dayimani, 21 Junior Pokomela, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Rikus Pretorius

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Fixtures
Sat 16 Apr 22 18:35 PM (SAST)
Llanelli Scarlets
Dragons
Parc y Scarlets, TBC
SuperSport
Fri 22 Apr 22 16:30 PM (SAST)
Stormers
Glasgow Warriors
DHL Stadium, Cape Town
SuperSport
Fri 22 Apr 22 18:35 PM (SAST)
Ulster
Munster
Kingspan Stadium, TBC
SuperSport
Results
Sat 11 Jun 22
Stormers
Stormers 17
Ulster
Ulster 15
Fri 10 Jun 22
Leinster
Leinster 26
Vodacom Bulls
Vodacom Bulls 27
Sat 04 Jun 22
Stormers
Stormers 28
Edinburgh
Edinburgh 17
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1. Leinster Rugby
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18
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59
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4. Bulls
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58