Stormers' stars battling with heavy workload

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 15:25

SUPER RUGBY SPOTLIGHT: A heavy workload took its toll on some of the Stormers' Springboks this week ahead of their crunch clash against the Chiefs on Saturday.

Bok locks Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit sat out training on Thursday in an effort to give them more time to recover from niggles before Saturday's encounter.

The duo, along with a number of other Stormers players, were part of a Springbok camp in Stellenbosch earlier this week before they rejoined their franchise to prepare for their Super Rugby Round Seven clash. 

"He [Du Toit] has got some swelling on the knee - it happened earlier in the week, so it is just precautionary that he has been pulled out of training," said Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck.

"Eben is just stiff. He was maybe overworked this week, so it's just precautionary again. We are just resting them for today's [Thursday] session."

Fleck added: "We always knew the Bok camp was going to be there, so we had to plan accordingly. 

"We lost most of our guys on Monday, so we could not train Monday. Fortunately, the camp was in Cape Town on Tuesday morning, so we were able to get our Boks back on Tuesday afternoon for a quick session. 

"The bodies have taken a bit of a hammering. Unfortunately, they [Etzebeth and Du Toit] had to be rested today [Thursday] to be fit for Saturday." 

Meanwhile, the Stormers will be facing New Zealand opposition for the first time this year on Saturday and Fleck knows that his team must be at their best to breach a strong defensive unit. 

"Their [Chiefs] mindset is that they are going to outscore you and they will defend their line with whatever it takes. 

"Our mindset is that we have to go into this game thinking we are going to win it by scoring tries and if that means we are got to push the offloads and play like we have done in the past then that is the way we got to do it," said Fleck.

Fleck is aware that the Chiefs will rather give penalties away than let teams cross the tryline.

"They don't mind to give away penalties. To be honest, it is part of their plan I think," Fleck added.

"Thirty percent of their defensive penalties are in the 22, so they don't mind if you go for the three points. We have to be better than that, so we can't just except three points all the time. 

"We’ll have to keep pushing. If you are going to beat the Chiefs you have to score more tries than them."

By Warren Fortune
@FortuneWarren
@rugby365com

 

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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 13 6 0 7 33
Waratahs 13 4 0 9 19
Force 13 4 0 9 17
Reds 13 3 0 10 17
Rebels 13 1 1 11 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 14 14 0 0 63
Hurricanes 14 11 0 3 54
Chiefs 14 11 1 2 53
Highlanders 14 10 0 4 46
Blues 14 7 1 6 37
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Team P W D L Pts
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Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
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Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19