Petersen will replace Zas for Stormers
INJURED The loss of Stormers star Leolin Zas is Sergeal Petersen’s gain after coach John Dobson confirmed who will start on the wing in Saturday’s URC final against the Bulls.
Unfortunate Zas was seriously injured playing in the first half of the semi-final against Ulster and is due for surgery, but the best news for Stormers fans is that Petersen has been fully fit in the Currie Cup for the Western Province.
Petersen has always been excellent for Province and last week almost single-handedly destroyed the Sharks when they lost at Stellenbosch in the Currie Cup final round.
Former Blitzbok Petersen is excellent in the air and his kicking game is solid, and those skills will strengthen Warrick Gelant at the back.
“I don’t want to play any games. Sergeal will play on the wing this weekend,” Dobson said emphatically during an online press conference on Wednesday.
“I had a conversation with Warrick about it,” Dobson added. “Leolin is physical and a complete striker, that’s what you need from a wing. Sergeal is a bit different. Warrick likes to play alongside Sergeal because if you’re a striking wing you don’t have time to make decisions or communicate like Sergeal does.
“What’s good for me is that they are both very good under the high ball. You have a guy now with Warrick who communicates. Warrick can pass to him and let Sergeal make a decision. Sergeal can also produce the strange magic of the X factor.
“So they are very different players. But I don’t think it will have a big influence on the composition of the team.
The 27-year-old Petersen was replaced by Zas earlier this season after enjoying a major improvement in form since joining after an unfortunate spell at the Sharks.
“We gave Leolin that game against Zebre and he was exceptional. Sergeal was pretty much a regular until then,” Dobson said. “Sergeal struggled early on when he started the Currie Cup, it’s not good to be dropped or left out. But his form has improved a lot and he was outstanding against the Sharks last week – iol.co.za