Schalk: No holding back

2011-02-24 09:25

Gavin Rich - SuperSport

Johannesburg - With the Springbok coach having said he has settled on the composition of most of his team for the Rugby World Cup, it would be understandable if some of the top players held back a bit and “managed” themselves during the extended Vodacom Super Rugby season.

After all, the World Cup only comes around every four years and like athletes and swimmers do with the Olympics, it is what all the players build towards. One injury can scupper that dream and all the hard work, and with seven months of almost non-stop rugby ahead before the beginning of the World Cup – Super Rugby goes straight into the Tri-Nations – there is plenty window of opportunity for injuries to happen.

But Springbok flank Schalk Burger does not see the extended competition leading to a situation where players try to conserve themselves. He also says that while the World Cup may be in the back of many minds, the possibility of being injured is something that players learn to live with, and it won't impact on their approach to rugby in 2011.

“Injuries can happen at any time and it is something that players learn to live with during their careers,” said Burger, who will lead the Stormers in their first match of the new Super season against the Lions at Newlands on Saturday.

“I sat and watched most of the games that were played last weekend and I don’t think there was any evidence of players holding back or trying to conserve themselves. Most of the games were played at 100 miles an hour and the players were clearly putting in a lot of effort."

However Burger does agree that the approach to this year’s competition is going to have to be different to in previous years. For him, the onus is on the team managements to get their management of resources right and thus make it possible for the players to perform at their optimum as often as they can.

“This competition used to be a sprint, but now it is definitely a marathon. That means there does have to be a change in approach, you can’t just expect to sprint the whole way and if you do you will be in big trouble. What needs to happen is that there has to be a lot more rotation in selection. The players have to be managed during the competition so they don’t get put at risk.”

Burger is confident that the Stormers have the extended squad that can deal with the arduous campaign, which will endure through to July if the Stormers emulate their achievement of last season and make the final.

“It’s very exciting the way the systems seem to be working in the Cape producing excellent youngsters who are capable of making the graduation up to Super Rugby level and it has a refreshing effect on the rest of the squad when the new guys come in,” said Burger.

The Stormers on Wednesday selected five players who were playing age-group rugby last year or the year before into their match day squad of 22 for the Lions match – lock Rynhardt Elstadt, flyhalf Gary van Aswegen and wing Danie Poolman will all start the Newlands game while hooker Siyabonga Ntubeni and prop Frans Malherbe will make their Super Rugby debuts off the bench.


  • SAFFA-CAT - 2011-02-24 09:37

    In the interests of NATION BUILDING, I think all Bok players should be taking it easy throughout the S15....The tournament is already a washout, with the Rebels ensuring that AUSSIE teams are best placed to HOG the playoff positions. With the Crusaders ADMIRABLY gifting 2 points to the Canes, it seems as though the S15 has already been somewhat discredited. I think the Crusaders realise that solidarity with the nation in this time of tragedy, will show much benefit come World Cup. So does the S15 really really really matter that much? To be honest, I would prefer the Boks to be competitive at the World Cup......

      sean - 2011-02-24 09:58

      How do you tell Springbok rugby players to take it easy ?

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-02-24 10:29

      You drug them...or hypnotize them? Not sure - I just know that the World Cup is THE ONLY THING on All Black players minds (and the ease with which they are all playing "get along gang" ; gifting points etc etc sorta confirms this?) They have their eyes FIRMLY on the prize - and winning the S15 is not it....

      Johnny - 2011-02-24 10:48

      .......the Boks will NOT win the world cup with AA PDV as coach......

      nixcroft - 2011-02-24 11:44

      i hardly think the 'saders gifted the canes two points. they could have forfeited the match and the canes could have gotten 4. no one asked for the quake. as for the rebels helping out all the aus teams... gee...looking back into history the cheetahs and lions were 5 log points for australian and new zealand teams no problem. the rebels held on quite well for a while. i dont think they will win it or pose a serious threat to winning the conference or the competition but i am sure they will give a couple of teams a good skrik this season.

  • The Observer - 2011-02-24 10:18

    "It’s very exciting the way the systems seem to be working in the Cape producing excellent youngsters who are capable of making the graduation up to Super Rugby level and it has a refreshing effect on the rest of the squad when the new guys come in,” These oaks havn't even played a game of real S15 yet but they made the step up. Brilliant Schalla brilliant.

      dushaas - 2011-02-24 10:26

      Maybe you should observe that comment by Schalk a little closer... you know, the one you just copied and pasted in you comment... the one that clearly says "...excellent youngsters who are CAPABALE OF MAKING the graduation up to Super Rugby level..." and then maybe you should reconsider your statement. Not so brilliant Observer, not so brilliant

      seeps.mazi - 2011-02-24 10:30

      What an ugly yellow training jersey...... No Province/Stormers that won't do. Enough of the kakpraat now who thinks the Lions can Prevail at Newlands on Saturday?

      nixcroft - 2011-02-24 11:49

      i think the lions have a good chance. they played quite well in the 2nd half and that game extra can make a good difference in getting up to speed. i think we have the most exciting south african attack (maybe not the best (yet?)) against arguably the best defence. if the lions starve the stormers from the get go of ball (as in the 2nd half vs the bulls) the stormers will lose. you can't score without the ball and no team can defend 90% non stop. but one slip up and the stormers have a great counter attack. will be a cracker. my rugby heart says may the best team win. my lions heart says the lions will annihilate the mild wind from the flat mountain :)

  • Hanjo - 2011-02-24 10:28

    what a kak headline... Hanjo: no Shit

  • koolaid - 2011-02-24 10:59


      BOKLDN - 2011-02-24 11:25

      No idea what he's chattin about either...

  • earlbok - 2011-02-24 11:45

    i agree , f*ck the S15 . the worldcup is all that matters besides the boks got a score to settle with the AB's while the SA sides keep competitive

      nixcroft - 2011-02-24 12:00

      as much as i dispise old snorre im 100% behind the boks. i agree that we got a score to settle with the AB's. their kak sotries about we arent really world champs because we didnt play them in the WC in 2007. would be LOVELY to succesfully defend the web ellis trophy in NZ AND play the AB's. And if beating the AB's is a requirement for being World Champions i have three points : 1. NZ arent true champs of the 1987 tournament coz the didnt beak the boks. 2. Aus arent true champs of the 1991 tourney coz for the same reason. 3. Spain aren't soccer world champs 2010 coz they didnt beat brazil.

      nixcroft - 2011-02-24 12:01

      oh, and no i don't think F8ck the S15. it another competition where SA teams can beat the ozzies and NZ teams. hope they do !

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