Stormers have a 'Kiwi Day'

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 07:21

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Stormers have a special day set aside in the week to prepare for their upcoming matches against the New Zealand franchises. Warren Fortune reports.

After their match against the Cheetahs this weekend, the Stormers will face their first Kiwi test of the season when they take on the Chiefs at Newlands in Round Seven.

The Chiefs match will be the start of a tough run of fixtures, which includes the Lions (home), Crusaders (away), Highlanders (away), Hurricanes (away) and Blues (home). There is some reprieve with a bye between the Hurricanes and Blues matches.

The Kiwi franchises have dominated the tournament in recent seasons and Stormers flyhalf Robert du Preez revealed that the Cape side has another game plan set aside for them.

"Every Thursday we call it a 'Kiwi day' where we prepare for them [NZ teams], because we know they pose a different threat. We go hard at each other on Thursdays," said Du Preez.

"We don't want to blow them up - we know that they are good, but we also want to concentrate on us. 

"I think the Cheetahs and the Lions will be good preparation for those Kiwi teams. They play the same kind of rugby." 

Du Preez has been the Stormers' starting flyhalf in their last two matches and he is enjoying the extra game time in the absence of the injured Jean-Luc du Plessis. 

"It is always good to get an extended run," Du Preez added. "I just want to keep building on performances and just build confidence. Jean-Luc, Kurt [Coleman] and myself, we all push each other, we all want to be No.1, so I think that is good. 

"I think it is good that there is three of us who really want to push each other and we are also good mates.

"Personally, I just want to keep going and keep building on the performances and get better every game."

Meanwhile, there were four new injuries sustained by the Stormers in their 44-31 victory against the Sunwolves in Singapore.

Flank Rynhardt Elstadt has had scans which confirmed a full Syndesmosis ankle tear and will undergo surgery, which will rule him out for three months.

Wing Seabelo Senatla has an extensive midfoot sprain including a fracture, which means that he will be sidelined for four to six weeks.

Prop Wilco Louw suffered an injury to his sternum and is expected to return to training next week whilst lock John Schickerling will also be out of action this week as he recovers from concussion.

There was some good news on the injury front for the Stormers with outside back Cheslin Kolbe (ankle) and scrumhalf Jano Vermaak (calf) both fully recovered from their respective injuries and available for selection against the Cheetahs at Newlands on Saturday.

By Warren Fortune
@FortuneWarren
@rugby365com

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