Injured Burger heads home

Sat, 22 Mar 2014 14:53
Large schalk burger on the bench

Injuries continue to bedevil the Stormers, as another player will head home from their tour of Australasia.

Injuries continue to bedevil the Stormers, as another player will head home from their tour of Australasia.

The Stormers' 15-25 Super Rugby loss to the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday was a bitter pill to swallow for head coach Allister Coetzee.

The Men from Cape Town conceded a last-minute penalty try, for a disintegrating scrum, to the Brumbies to miss out on a losing bonus point as they suffered a third tour defeat in the process.

The team also suffered a blow shortly before Saturday's clash against the Brumbies when veteran flank Schalk Burger was forced to withdraw with a torn quad muscle.

To make matters worse, Burger - boasting 91 Super Rugby caps - will head back to South Africa on Sunday.

"It's always a big loss losing a player at the 11th hour - especially someone of Schalk's calibre," said Coetzee.

"But we're fortunate to be able to call upon someone like Siya Kolisi, who is of course a Springbok himself, and then there's also a quality player like Nizaam Carr in the mix too.

"Schalk will head home," Coetzee said, adding: "And we will call up a lock replacement as Jurie van Vuuren, who made his Super Rugby today [Saturday], is [first and foremost] a flank and can provide additional loose forward cover in Schalk's absence."

An announcement on Burger's replacement will be made on Monday - either by flying in a lock from within the union or outside the Stormers region.

Coetzee also confirmed that Kolisi (who took a slight knock to his head) and fullback Gio Aplon (knee) would be fit for next week's clash against the Reds.

A call on the fitness of Jaco Taute - who missed Saturday's match with a shoulder injury (AC Joint) - will be made next week.

"The other positive was the return to action of Juan de Jongh," Coetzee said.

"Juan looked very sharp when he came on, despite limited game time for him this year, and it adds crucial depth to our backline with one week left on tour."

The third tour loss also rankles with the coach.

"This is definitely a bitter pill to swallow for us, even more disappointing than the losses to the Crusaders and the Chiefs," Coetzee said.

"It's frustrating as we're our own worst enemies at the moment. Individual errors and poor decision-making at key moments continue to cost us," he added.

"But we're not about to give up. I've said it before, no Stormers team will never give up and we will be putting everything into securing a win in our final tour game next week [against the Reds]."

The Stormers lost by one point to the Crusaders two weeks ago, conceding a late penalty goal to go down 13-14, and last weekend they were trailing the Chiefs by four points (20-24) before conceding two late tries to miss out on a losing bonus point (as they lost 20-36).

"It's the third week in a row that we've not stuck to the plan in closing a game out," said Coetzee. "It's a lack of composure in pressure situations, but hopefully we've finally learnt our lesson."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 26 June 2016
Canada v Italy 16h00 Toronto
Fri, 01 July 2016
Chiefs v Crusaders 07h35 Hamilton
Brumbies v Reds 09h40 Canberra
EP Kings v Griquas 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Blue Bulls v Boland 17h00 Loftus Versfeld
Sat, 02 July 2016
Jaguares v Blues 22h00 Buenos Aires
Sunwolves v Waratahs 05h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Blues 07h35 Wellington
Rebels v Stormers 09h40 Melbourne
Free State Cheetahs v Falcons 10h05 Bloemfontein
Golden Lions v Griffons 12h05 Johannesburg
Cheetahs v Force 13h00 Bloemfontein
Western Province v Eagles 13h00 Newlands
Namibia v Border 13h00 Windhoek
Sharks v Leopards 15h00 Durban
Kings v Highlanders 15h05 Port Elizabeth
Lions v Sharks 17h10 Johannesburg
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 8 0 4 34
Waratahs 12 7 0 5 34
Rebels 11 6 0 5 27
Reds 13 3 1 9 16
Force 12 2 0 10 12
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 10 0 2 45
Chiefs 12 9 0 3 42
Hurricanes 12 8 0 4 40
Highlanders 12 8 0 4 38
Blues 12 6 1 5 30
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 1 4 36
Bulls 12 7 1 4 32
Cheetahs 12 3 0 9 17
Sunwolves 11 1 1 9 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 9 0 3 42
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 12 2 0 10 14
Kings 12 2 0 10 9