Stormers' injury woes continue

    2013-04-01 21:58

    Cape Town - Three Stormers players have been ruled out of action with injuries following their clash against the Crusaders over the weekend.

    Wing Gerhard van der Heever (knee), flank Rynhardt Elstadt (shoulder) and lock Don Armand (ribs) will be unable to play for at least two weeks.

    Flyhalf Elton Jantjies, centre Juan de Jongh and prop Pat Cilliers sat out at Monday's training, all nursing a variety of bruises. They were, howeve,r all expected to be fit for the trip to Bloemfontein next weekend.

    "The Crusaders match has left us without the services of at least three players, but we have [prop Steven] Kitshoff coming back," Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee told reporters in Cape Town on Monday.

    "One of the good things for us this week is that Michael Rhodes is back after a couple of outings for the [WP] Vodacom Cup team.

    "Don Armand has a rib injury muscle and [lock] Gerbrandt Grobler has been training with the squad so he's ready to step in."

    Coetzee said the side has learnt valuable lessons in a lost cause against the Crusaders and he felt the experience will prove of great benefit.

    "We've seen how well the Crusaders did their homework and we know that we can expect the same from the Cheetahs this week," said Coetzee.

    "The Crusaders have learnt to put all teams under pressure. Despite our lapse, our players will continue to back themselves, which is pleasing because the confidence is still there.

    "After we lost our first line-out it became increasingly difficult to get a hold on the game because our execution [at the set-piece] was not sharp at all."

    After their poor line-out display, there was very little Coetzee can do in terms of changing personnel, but feels the Stormers should stick to basics.

    The promotion, from the bench, of Springbok Pat Cilliers to the run-on XV last week proved successful, although he was likely to make way for Kitshoff.

    "I was pleased with the way Pat scrummed," Coetzee said.

    "His work rate was right up there, and he was impressive against a quality team."

    Coetzee said the team's lack of possession curtailed the attacking instincts of flyhalf Elton Jantjies, and he was forced into a largely kicking role.

    "Elton made a few knock-ons, but his out-of-hand kicking was still good," said Coetzee.

    "In the context of the game, his job was mainly to kick. It was tough on him because we hardly had any ball to play with. This week we'll have show improvement in all facets of the game if we want to do well against the Cheetahs."

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