De Allende’s form a worry for Boks


Since coming back from an ankle injury he sustained during his stint in Japan, De Allende has looked as rusty as an old garden gate. He has been slow and cumbersome on attack, while his defence has been ordinary to say the least.

This is in stark contract to the De Allende of 2015.

There was a guy who broke the line by using his power to run through people, and his clever step to run past them. He also has the ability to the offload in the tackle, while his passing game has also come along over the last two years.

But, in the Stormers’ 32-30 defeat at the hands of the Waratahs, he missed two crucial tackles on Bernard Foley and Israel Folau that led to tries for the visitors, while he also missed two other tackles.

He beat three defenders and made one clean break against the Australian side, but he only made 23 metres from seven carries. That is almost 20 metres less than his opposite number Kurtley Beale.

With just over a month to go before the first Test against Ireland at Newlands, the chances of the centre being ready for Test rugby look rather slim.

The Stormers have three more Super Rugby matches to go - against the Sunwolves, Bulls and Cheetahs before the June Test break.

But is it going to be enough to help De Allende dust off the rest of the cobwebs so he can cope with the rigours of Test rugby?

“Damian is working hard. He is still getting back to full fitness,” Stormers coach Robbie Fleck said.

“He showed some moments there (against the Waratahs), but he still has a long way to go to get to where he was at the World Cup. But then that is to be expected, because he has come off a big injury.

“It’s just a matter of time in the saddle for him, and we will start seeing some good play from him.”

If De Allende isn’t ready to take on the might of the Irish, Coetzee may have to look at other options like the Bulls’ Jan Serfontein, De Allende’s Stormers teammate Juan de Jongh and the Lions’ No 12 Howard Mnisi.

Serfontein certainly impressed last weekend in the match against the Force as he looked like the kid who enthralled everybody with his ball playing ability as a Junior Springbok.

Over the last few years Serfontein was turned into a basher, but he showed off his silky running and passing skills last weekend, while his support play was just as good.

But he was outshone by De Jongh.

The Cape side’s co-captain showed off his skill, as well as his physicality with his bursting runs in the inside channels.

Coetzee, of course, may prefer De Jongh to play at outside centre, which could open the door for Serfontein at 12.

Mnisi will offer the Springboks a lot on attack, but he just hasn’t been consistent enough during the season to leapfrog Serfontein and De Jongh, especially not on defence.

But, with Elton Jantjies set to play at flyhalf and Faf de Klerk at scrumhalf, picking the trio makes sense. - The Star

Original source: De Allende’s form a worry for Boks