Springbok and Tigers star Handre Pollard.

Springbok and Tigers star Handre Pollard. Photo: @LeicesterTigers via X.

Handre Pollard and Manie Libbok set for Springbok battle on Sunday

The Stormers appear intent to play it fast and loose as they try to outdo a well-structured Leicester Tigers team commanded by Handre Pollard.

Springbok and Tigers star Handre Pollard.

Springbok and Tigers star Handre Pollard. Photo: @LeicesterTigers via X.

The Stormers have to come up against one of South Africa’s finest when they clash with Leicester Tigers on Sunday as Handre Pollard is a key player for the English club.

Pollard’s skills both as a kicker and match general have generated a few concerns for the Stormers.

Is it 10 vs 10 when Handre Pollard and Manie Libbok meet?

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Stormers defence coach Norman Laker knows Pollard well and feels that he will be at the centre of the Tigers’ gameplan.

“He drives the [Leicester] team, just as he does with the Boks,” the Stormers defence coach said.

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“He has a very good kicking game and a calm head.”

To make matters worse for the Stormers, if they kick poorly out of hand they risk presenting England international Freddie Steward with a platform to rip them to tatters.

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Steward was the true star of England’s brilliant start to their semi-final against the Springboks and he might be one of the best players in the world under the high ball. Steward is a strong runner who is tough to stop once he gets going and despite his large frame the English outside back can get up to speed in a jiffy.

What Stormers team will show up

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While the Stormers admire the Tigers structure, it doesn’t seem likely that they will abandon the high-risk rugby they have played in the URC so far. When things come off for the Stormers it can often look spectacular but they have produced plenty of moments this term that would have had their fans tearing their hair out, including some maddening instances of players carrying the ball in unsafe ways (Yes we are referring to Warrick Gelant running with the ball like he’s playing a game of touch).

The Stormers believe they have some good plans laid out.

“We have done our analyses and made some good plans,” said Laker.

Tune in to the match on Sunday 10 December to see how the Stormers go at Welford Road.