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    Coetzee not making excuses

    2012-04-23 19:42
    Cape Town - Stormers coach Allister Coetzee says their recent injury-jinx is something they have to be able to handle if they are to succeed in 2012's Super Rugby tournament.

    The men from Cape Town have had a solid start to the season, with seven out of eight victories helping them to top spot in the South African conference and second spot on the overall log.

    But injuries to key players have started to take its toll as they prepare for their last tour match against the Force in Perth on Saturday.

    On Monday they announced that wing/fullback Gio Aplon and eighthman Duane Vermeulen are on their way back to Cape Town.

    Aplon has a hamstring strain and should be available for their next game against the Cheetahs at Newlands on 12 May.

    Vermeulen sustained a knee ligament injury late in the game against the Reds and will see a knee specialist in Cape Town for further assessment.

    Vermeulen captained the team in their 23-13 victory over the Reds and now becomes the third captain they have lost this season after Schalk Burger and Jean de Villiers were earlier casualties.

    But Coetzee is adamant they must be able to overcome these setbacks.

    “Injuries are part of the game. As a squad you have to be able to handle them. It’s something we have spoken about often.

    "This week it’s the Force and regardless who we select, we will need to again be at our best to take the points. It is a big game for us as a win will mean a very successful tour.

    "There is a lot of motivation in this group to achieve that and we will be going all out," said Coetzee.

    Western Province flank flank Don Armand and centre Berton Klaasen flew to Perth on Monday to join up with the touring group.

    Lock Eben Etzebeth (shoulder) is being managed and a call on his availability will only be made at the last training session this week.

    Lock Andries Bekker is however expected to make a return to the team this week against the Force.

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