Duane no fan of enforced rest
Cape Town - Springbok and Stormers No 8
Duane Vermeulen has yet to be convinced of the benefits of enforced mid-season
The Stormers skipper played just one game
on his team's four-game overseas tour as part of SARU's agreement with the
franchises to rest key players.
Yet Vermeulen was on top form in his
comeback game, playing an influential role in the Stormers' win over the Bulls
at Newlands last Saturday.
But he said it wasn't easy to pick up from
where he left off.
"I think in the long run you might
feel (the benefits) but in a way it is like you don't get momentum," said
"If you play four games and rest two
and you get back into the squad and it has evolved.
"I just want to play, so if I can be
on the pitch every week then I am happy. They have got a plan with that and we
will see how it works later on this year."
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee clearly
believes in the benefits of resting players, but he was happy to see his
skipper leading by example as the Cape Town side moved to the top of the South
Vermeulen was full of energy in the closing
stages of the crunch battle and showed great instincts when he charged down
what would have been a match-winning drop-goal from Bulls flyhalf Handre
Pollard almost on the stroke of full-time.
"The drop-goal could've gone over (in
the 79th minute), so I could've been singing a different tune I guess, but
fortunately we had Duane Vermeulen on our side - it’s not something you can
coach," said Coetzee.
"His awareness was good.
"But what was also good was that Duane
did not try and kick the ball ahead, which could've turned possession around
again, instead he dived on it and slowed it down to get the numbers.
"The Bulls came to play, but, once
again, our team showed character in what was a short week (after our tour) and
in the context of this competition this is an excellent win for us, it’s an
important four points."
Vermeulen said that the charge-down came
with a dose of good luck as he read the signals between Bulls scrumhalf Piet
van Zyl and Pollard.
The Stormers will rest Springbok lock Eben
Etzebeth and prop Steven Kitshoff for Saturday's Super Rugby clash against the
"At this stage in the season we have
to look at players’ recovery, it is taxing on players and we have got to make
sure we manage them properly to ensure they pitch up in every game with the
same physical intensity,” said Coetzee.
"That is the challenge you have as a
coaching staff and the big thing for me is to back the squad.
"The Cheetahs are a good side and we
won't make changes to break our momentum, we have got to back our squad and
make sure that these guys are always fresh."