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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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28