Bekker Boost For Stormers
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee believes they have used the mid-season Test window break optimally, to recharge the squad both mentally and physically.
“We had a massive run in to the break, playing the Sharks and Bulls away.” said Coetzee.
“We had a number of injuries and our guys were tired. The break came at a great time for us and the cherry on top was the win at Loftus to end that phase of our season.
“We used the first week of the off period to give the guys a full break from the rigours of the competition. A little R&R and time for the body to recover from the niggles.
“Week two saw us look to do strength and conditioning work. It’s something you can only really do pre-season and it was really good to be able to focus on this element at this stage.
“We will undoubtedly see this pay off as we progress in the competition. This last week we have used for rugby specifics combined with conditioning work.”
“Mentally I felt the guys were fatigued by the end of the of our last league game at Loftus. A break from the competition has been good for us both mentally and physically. The guys are now really focussed on getting the job done and are hungry again for competition phase.”
With a number of players with the Boks, a contingent of the victorious Western Province Vodacom Cup side is training with the Stormers squad.
“We have regular feedback from our guys with the Boks and at this stage all are doing well. On the home front, Andries Bekker has made great progress and should be good-to-go come the Lions.
“Duane [Vermeulen] is firmly on track with his rehab and remains set for a return for any potential play-offs.
“Schalla’s [Schalk Burger] progress has however been slower than hoped and it is unlikely that both he and [Nick] Koster will be available for the Lions game.
"As cover, we have been working with Don Armand and Tyrone Holmes, from the Province squad, whilst Jebb Sinclair is due back with us next week and Kolisi will return from the Bok camp.
“Unfortunately [Rynhardt] Elstadt is also not available for the Lions game, given his one-week ban for picking up three yellows.” said Coetzee.
“The squad is focussed and hungry to get back into competition mode. There is still a lot of rugby to be played in the competition and we are well positioned, which really excites the guys.
“We will certainly look to capitalise now and every player knows exactly what is required of him individually and from the team as a whole.” concluded Coetzee.