Evan Roos has received a huge vote of confidence from a man who knows a No 8 Springbok when he sees one. JACK DYLAN reports.
Despite his unrestrained performances for the Stormers this season, Roos initially appeared to have been left out of the Springbok’s plans as he was not invited to the first of three roster camps, during which the coaches laid out plans for the upcoming campaign. test.
However, an eye-catching performance against the Glasgow Warriors in April, when he scored a last-minute try to secure a bonus point for the Stormers, earned Roos his place in Bok’s second camp. Rassie Erasmus even praised the talented loose striker for his efforts against Glasgow.
Speaking during a URC press conference, former Stormers and Springbok forward Skinstad, who has closely followed Roos in his role as a Premier Sports commentator, was asked if the 22-year-old would fit into international rugby. .
“We see Evan Roos week after week. We’re constantly saying, ‘Jeepers, that’s strong!’” Skinstad said. “He just gets that extra three or four meters and then sometimes a little shock that creates the gap. Once he is behind the opposition’s gain line, he can open it up.
“Evan Roos fits into that [Stormers] pack perfectly. John Dobson and Rito Hlungwani have positioned him well as a ball carrier on the widest channels. He is an incredible finisher when he has five or six meters left. He is difficult to stop, he showed it in the last two games.
“I think for the Springboks he would be an asset. I’m not sure if he can suddenly start in that position because they’ve been incredibly successful in the last couple of years. I figure if he’s in and around the team, coming off the bench, he would want to impact the team and he would be good for everyone involved.”
Having finished second in the URC while playing some flashy rugby, this Stormers side have drawn comparisons to the ‘Men in Black’ from the 1999 Super Rugby campaign.
Skinstad was part of that team, which also finished second in the table and advanced to the semi-finals, where they were beaten by the Highlanders at Newlands.
“They’re playing as good, if not better, and the players are bigger and stronger than us,” Skinstad said when asked what he thought of the current Stormers squad. “I have been delighted to see the Stormers play. That counter attack rugby… they are trying to score as many points as they can. They are trying to win by having more tries instead of squeezing the opposition. That makes the games exciting.
“Leolin Zas has the most tries this season, but he has been an amazing finisher thanks to good breaks from the guys inside him. They have a big, strong backline and use their creativity. But the beauty for me is the link between carrying on like Evan Roos.
“They have finishers inside and out. Take nothing away from guys like Ruhan Nel.
“I am very excited about them as a team. The way they’re playing, I think it’s good for the tournament.”
The Capetonians take on Edinburgh at the URC quarter-final stage in Cape Town on Saturday, and Skinstad says the hosts must stick to the game plan that has served them so well this season.
“I think the Stormers will be nervous. They will prepare for an attack from Edinburgh, who have come to their feet in a couple of really tough games this season and put in performances.
“The Stormers will have to wait for that. They will have to play the game they have found most successful. If they try to change their plan and start losing to Edinburgh it will be a big decisive battle up front and if they don’t play their game open then they will be in trouble.
“If the Stormers play 10 out of 10 and Edinburgh play 10 out of 10, then the Stormers will beat it at home.”
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