Stormers cope without Schalk

2010-02-21 22:26

Stephen Nell

Cape Town – Schalk Burger is set to miss Friday night’s clash against the Brumbies at Newlands, but the Stormers already showed at the weekend that they can cope without their captain in this year’s Super 14.

Burger tweaked a hamstring early in Saturday’s 27-7 win over the Waratahs and was replaced by Pieter Louw in the 23rd minute.

This however did not knock the Stormers off their stride and Louw was impressive in their thumping of the Waratahs.

Once again the Stormers did not pick up a bonus point, but it would be unreasonable to criticise them for that this week. This was, after all, a victory over one of the better teams in the tournament.

“Apart from our defence, I am delighted with the win. We lost our captain early and it shows we are growing as a team,” said Stormers coach Allister Coetzee.

“Andries Bekker took over as captain and there was good composure in the team.”

Last year the Stormers were knocked off their stride in the first game of their campaign at Newlands when Jean de Villiers was stretchered from the field.

However, this year the loss of their captain and one of the world’s best loose forwards during the course of the match held no such grave consequences.

“We just stuck to our structures. Everybody knew what to do and there are enough leaders in the team to make decisions. It was very simple,” said Andries Bekker, who was named man of the match.

While Burger is a major doubt for Friday, Wicus Blaauw may well be back in contention. The loosehead prop injured his shoulder against the Lions in the first week.

“Wicus is making very good progress and has had two sessions with the conditioning coach. He’s a young man and recovering quickly. He may be available,” said Coetzee.

Not that Coetzee will want to change his line-up without good reason.

JC Kritzinger performed well at loosehead in Blaauw’s absence and the Stormers pack more than stood their ground against one of the most physical packs in the competition.

“There were still a few mistakes with regards to the physical aspect, but overall it was a big mental boost. The Waratahs are strong in the scrums and lineouts,” said Bekker.

Only about 37 000 people came to watch the Stormers register the biggest win in their history over the Waratahs, but Cape rugby fans should catch onto the spirit this week.

The Brumbies lost 32-50 against the Bulls at the weekend, but led 21-20 at half-time and the altitude on the Highveld probably had a role in their demise.

The Stormers will therefore not rest on their laurels.

“The Brumbies are a good side and have gained Matt Giteau and Rocky Elsom,” said Coetzee.

“They offer a different challenge and are not as physical as the Waratahs. They keep possession well and take the ball through phases.”

  • Johan - 2010-02-21 23:16

    Goeie werk gedoen Allister Coetzee jy het reggekry waarmee Rasie gesukkel het...

  • bulawayo-based-bok - 2010-02-21 23:42

    pieter louw did step up to the mark, he proved me wrong i fort he was too lightweight for a super 14 flank!!! the scrum was good even without Blaauw! de jongh played well but he will struggle against Nonu/Kahui! as good as Aplon has been in recent weeks, i would still like to see Engelbrecht get his chance and i'm sure Koster will be pushing wen he gets back from injury!

  • Will always miss Schalk - 2010-02-22 05:20

    Anyone who knows anything about rugby will love to have Schalk in their team, except of course the BBulls (idiots) but Louw did well against the Tahs. I was just hoping that Schalk will play to keep an eye on vuiluil Elsom but Francois Louw and Vermeulen will sort him out. Vital for both the Stormers and Bulls to win again this weekend.

  • WPJouLekkerding - 2010-02-22 09:04

    They played pretty well with out him.

  • EMILE - 2010-02-22 09:23

    Really no loss at all. With him off the field, at least the Stormers wasn't penalized for head high tackles. His replacement was excellent on Saturday. How the f#$k SARU gave that plonker a contact only they know. Currently the guy from the Bulls (Stegman) is leading a pack of excellent flankers followed by Brussow and the Stormers replacement. All clean players!!!. Time for Schalk to go and earn Euro's.

  • Dgs - 2010-02-22 09:35

    Just remember Stormers, the Brumbies are a far better team that the Waratahs. So because you didn't seem to have too many problems winning on Saturday, your game against the Brumbies could be a totally different kettle of fish altogether. Just don't get too complacent and full of yourselves.

  • ModderOtter - 2010-02-22 09:37

    Nee wat, Skalla kan maar die game rus sodat hy 100% is vir die Cheetah en Highlander games. Ek worry ook nie oor vuiluil Elsom nie, tussen Aplon en Ricky sal hulle hom uitsort. Praat van Elsom, hoe is dit dat niemand sy vuishou op Stegman gesien het nie? Hoekom is net Matfield uitgewys??

  • Bad play - 2010-02-22 09:52

    congratulation to the stormers. They have proven at least they can play rugby for 80 minutes but will it last for the rest of the tournament. With Schalk not being present for almost 70% of the game, I'll give them a good praise. If Schalk was indeed present for that amount of game play, who would've guess they would be victorious.

  • Kayz - 2010-02-22 10:02

    Shut Up Dgs, 100 buck says ur a Sharks fan, worry bout ur own problems b4 u try playin wit the big boyz. PRRRRROOOOOVINCE!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bokkom - 2010-02-22 11:03

    Shalk's "injury" on Saturday proved a point I made last year and it's my wish that another franchise should make him an offer he can't refuse. Iamastormer.

  • Mordaunt - 2010-02-22 13:22

    Not only did they "cope" , they played a lot better! Schalk's injury was a blessing in disguise. Playing Schalk means starting with a -10 point score - 3 for a penaly as a result of a high tackle and 7 scorded by the opposition as a result of him being yellow carded and the team playing with 14 men.

  • @Kayz - 2010-02-22 13:43

    No Kayz Dgs is a bitter BB supporter, just because they battled on Sat against the Brumbies now the Stormers had a easy game against the Tahs, come on BB supporters you must concede at least we can defend our line unlike all other SA teams!

  • zacky - 2010-02-22 13:55

    To all those with negative comments on Super Schalk -- piss off. very few loose forwards that can match his work rate.

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