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
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
Fri, 22 December 2017
Wasps v Gloucester 22h00 Ricoh Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Harlequins 22h00 Kingston Park
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 22h00 Franklin's Gardens
Leicester Tigers v Saracens 22h00 Welford Road
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 22h00 Sixways
Sale Sharks v Bath 22h00 AJ Bell Stadium
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Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
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Sun, 03 December 2017
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Sat, 02 December 2017
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Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
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