Steyn, Lambie back in training

    2014-06-24 10:14
    Durban -  The Cell C Sharks players not in the Springbok camp all returned to Kings Park this week as they start preparing for the final stages of the Super Rugby tournament, Sharks website editor Michael Marnewick reports.

    In two weeks’ time, they will resume duty against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, followed by their final pool match, against the Stormers in Cape Town. The knockout stages follow with the Sharks already guaranteed a place in the top three, having already secured the South African Conference.

    The players have had a mixed programme over the June break, alternating rest with gym work and field training to balance the needs to break from the game, without losing strength and fitness.

    “One of the decisions we made as a coaching staff was that we weren’t going to push the players too hard during the June break,” Director of Rugby Jake White explained.

    “They had an eight match block, a tour towards the end of that block, the Boks are away, so to keep bashing the same guys over and over doesn’t make sense. It’s been a good refresher for us and although we’re not in an ideal position with our Boks away, at least it gives us time now to start getting our game plans and game strategies right for the next couple of weeks.”

    Despite the rigours of the competition and the toll it takes, the Sharks are in a good place with players returning to action to bolster the side at this crucial time.

    Frans Steyn has had two weeks off, time to chill out a bit,” White confirmed. “Looking at the stats, he’s played the second-most amount of rugby for us this year - behind Lwazi Mvovo - and I needed him to have some time off, which he has and he joined us along with the squad when they all assembled here on Monday morning. He’s all ready to go.”

    Steyn recently shocked the rugby fraternity when withdrew from the Springbok squad due to a dispute over money with SARU.

    Pat Lambie, who missed the last nine games due to a bicep injury, is working hard along with the medical staff to return to action as soon as possible, with the good news that it could be soon. “Pat is also training with us, he has a few things to get right medically, there will be a few tests undertaken to see what he can do and what he can’t do, and once he can tick all those boxes then he’ll be ready to go. It all looks positive though, it looks like he’s on track for 10 days’ time.” In other words, he could turn out for the Cheetahs’ game.

    The other point on the agenda that the coaching staff have been giving serious thought to is the workload of some of the players, the Springboks who will have played a lot of rugby by the time Super Rugby returns.

    “There are some decisions to make; one is whether we go hammer and tongs and play the guys who have carried a heavy workload - but that comes with a risk, because if you don’t qualify for a home semi-final, then you end up having over-played some players going into the final stages of the competition. If you don’t play your strongest team you create a perception, and I want to stress that it is a perception, that your weaker team is not good enough to win, which is not fair on the players.

    “So the challenge for us it to get the balance right between giving ourselves a fair crack at getting a home semi, but at the same time, making sure that if we don’t get a home semi, our players are all fit and available for the playoffs.”

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