Schalk back to his best

Wed, 19 Mar 2014 12:19
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Schalk Burger feels he is once again starting to reach his top form as the Stormers prepare to face the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday.
Schalk Burger feels he is once again starting to reach his top form as the Stormers prepare to face the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday.
Burger, who suffered a two season lay off due to injuries and sickness, has had a slow return to competitive rugby, he came off the bench for Western Province in the latter stages of the Currie Cup but now finds himself an integral part of the Stormers set up.
The former IRB Player of the Year feels his form is starting to return and he is not far off his best, this comes at a good time for the Stormers who have had a poor start to the Super Rugby tournament and will be looking for their first away win against the Brumbies.
"I think that i am definitely getting close to it, [my best form] the more I play the better I'll get.
"At the moment I am happy where I am at, it will be a lot nicer if we can put in a big performance and get a victory," he said.
Burger had a brilliant game against the Crusaders and looked to be back to his industrious self but he has concluded it was a game that suited him and the Stormers as the opposition were keen to 'engage' with them.
"The Crusaders was a game that suited all of us, they really engaged with us, therefore our stats was through the roof.
"I think the Chiefs were quite clever where they boxed smartly and tried to play around us a bit more than through us," he said.
Burger has praised the energy and fire that players from the bench have brought to the games so far and hopes that this weekend their role will be to see the game out rather than chasing it.
"Nizaam [Carr] and Siya [Kolisi] coming off the bench does give masses of energy to all the players, Oli Kebble also gives a massive amount of energy when he does come off the bench.
"That's what the bench is for, they have got to make an impact and I think at the moment they are coming on and definitly making a difference.
"What the bench is there to do is to bring added energy and change, on the weekend they had to come out and chase the game and its not the easiest thing to do, so hopefully his weekend when they do come on we can be in a favourable position and they can close the game out," he said.
Burger and Coetzee have both done their homework on the opponents for the weekend and will hoping that the Stormers gameplan is effective enough to get the victory.
"This weekend we want continuity, the Brumbies are a side that play with an element that is similar to the Bulls where they  play a lot of field possession and then when you do carry the ball they do their best to disrupt you, especially from set phase.
"Especially from that rush defense that comes pretty hard for the first three phases, I think from my point of view we want to keep continuity and we want to play with the rugby ball.
"It is an uncomfortable thing to play against[the rush defense], we don't play against it that often, so you do get the feel that you do actually have less time than you have got and if they do make a dominant hit the breakdown is going to be quite a battle.
"They do come hard at the break downs they have conceded a hell of a lot of penalties, so for us the ideal start to the game would be putting them under pressure in their half and then once we are there keep the ball in hand as much as possible," he said.
Coach Allister Coetzee had a similar view of what the Brumbies would bring and how his team should go about combating it.
"They have a massive line speed in their defense, they push hard, you cant afford to go lateral with them, they will smother you and choke you and force mistakes.
"We have got to make sure that we are very hard and clinical in terms of our first ruck and ball continuity.
"It's not just pressure but score board pressure too, we have got to start well and keep building on that," Coetzee said.
Crusaders vs Chiefs
sast: 08h35 | local: 19h35

  • 0 | 0
Sat, 24 February 2018
Sunwolves v Brumbies 04h15 Tokyo
Waratahs v Stormers 08h45 Allianz Park
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Lions v Jaguares 13h05 Johannesburg
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Ireland v Wales 14h15 Aviva Stadium
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 14h30 Twickenham Stoop
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Bath v Sale Sharks 14h30 Recreation Ground
Bulls v Hurricanes 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sun, 25 February 2018
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
Fri, 02 March 2018
Blues v Chiefs 06h35 Eden Park
Reds v Brumbies 09h00 Suncorp Stadium
Kings v Dragons 17h35 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 19h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Edinburgh v Munster 19h35 Myreside
Harlequins v Bath 19h45 Twickenham Stoop
Sat, 03 March 2018
Sunwolves v Rebels 22h00 Tokyo
Fri, 23 February 2018
France v Italy 34 | 17
Leinster v Kings 64 | 7
Dragons v Edinburgh 12 | 25
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 21 | 10
Rebels v Reds 45 | 19
Highlanders v Blues 41 | 34
Mon, 19 February 2018
NWU-Pukke v UJ 18 | 15
Maties v CUT-Ixias 75 | 12
UCT-Ikeys v Shimlas 27 | 32
NMMU-Madibaz v Wits 29 | 32
Sun, 18 February 2018
Dragons v Treviso 15 | 18
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13 | 7
Sat, 17 February 2018
Cardiff Blues v Munster 25 | 18
Lions v Sharks 26 | 19
Leinster v Scarlets 20 | 13
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 1 1 0 0 5
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Sunwolves 0 0 0 0 0
Reds 1 0 0 1 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Highlanders 1 1 0 0 4
Blues 1 0 0 1 1
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 1 1 0 0 4
Lions 1 1 0 0 4
Sharks 1 0 0 1 1
Bulls 0 0 0 0 0
Jaguares 1 0 0 1 0