Burger blow for Stormers?

Mon, 24 Feb 2014 08:14
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The Stormers are sweating over the fitness of three players, including veteran Springbok Schalk Burger.

The Stormers are sweating over the fitness of three players, including veteran Springbok Schalk Burger ahead of their Round Two Super Rugby showdown with the Hurricanes.

Burger left the field in the first half of his team's disappointing 10-34 loss to the Lions with a groin injury.

Other players on the injury list included Argentinean lock Manuel Carizza (rib) and flank Siya Kolisi (shoulder) - who also left the fray in the second half with injuries.

"We will know more on Monday, once the injured guys have been evaluated properly," Coetzee said in an interview on the Stormers website.

"At this stage, one would have to say that Manuel's injury is the most serious of the three."

The Stormers coach admitted a lot of work awaits his team ahead of their return to Newlands, where they will face the Hurricanes on Friday.

Coetzee said the entire group are "very unhappy" with their performance in the loss to the Lions.

"We're the first to admit that we were outplayed and credit must go to the Lions for their performance," the Stormers mentor said.

"They had us under pressure from the start and we weren't able to get into our stride at all.

"It was one of those horror starts, a defensive blunder from us leading to their try, then Boshoff landing two drop-goals and [then] two penalties.

"It wasn't an ideal start to our season - a rude awakening for us, but we know that we have a lot of hard work to do this week in order to bounce back."

When asked how the Stormers could make things right, Coetzee commented: "We conceded 25 turnovers - 10 of those coming on attack. In other words, we had 10 potential opportunities to put points on the board, but managed to lose the ball instead of making it count on the scoreboard.

"Defensively, the Lions were also very, very good," he said, adding: "They had us under pressure at the breakdown where we were [uncharacteristically] very poor."

Coetzee was happy with his team's set-piece performance, pointing to just one line-out loss in 80 minutes and some powerful scrummaging from the Stormers, but there will still be plenty to work on at training on Monday and Tuesday.

"It's a short week… just a six-day week to turn things around before we take on the Hurricanes at Newlands on Friday.

"It won't be easy - it's never easy against a good Hurricanes team, but the main positive from Saturday is that we have plenty of scope to improve and we won't have time to stew over our poor performance given the short (six-day) turnaround required."

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