Stormers still smiling despite injuries

Super Rugby

CAPE TOWN - After such a huge game there’s bound to be a niggle or two, and Stormers forwards coach Russel Winter said that a number of players didn’t take part in training on Monday as a precaution after their tremendous 34-26 win over the Chiefs on Saturday.

Some other players, he added, were simply being rested.

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The Stormers celebrate after Siya Kolisi's try. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePixStormers players celebrate another of the tries in Saturday's win. Photo: EPA/Nick BothmaEben Etzebeth congratulates Sikhumbuzo Notshe on his try against the Chiefs while Dillyn Leyds is just as happy. Photo: EPA/Nic Bothma

Bok lock Pieter-Steph du Toit, who didn’t feature against the Chiefs due to a swollen knee, was one of the players who didn’t take part in training, while Eben Etzebeth also sat out.

Flank Cobus Wiese, who was replaced by Nizaam Carr in the second half, will undergo scans on Tuesday along with a number of his teammates, and Winter said that the medical staff suspected a dislocated shoulder, which could rule the 19-year-old out for the near future if today’s assessment confirms it.

“Pieter-Steph had a swollen knee. He didn’t train but he’s looking much better. Eben is still struggling a bit with those calves of his. He also didn’t train. Cobus Wiese’s shoulder is a bit of a concern,” Winter said. “There is a concern about Cobus, I’m not sure, but I don’t think he’ll make the weekend.”

Despite the fact that the Stormers could be another loose forward short if Wiese’s prognosis isn’t positive, Winter was optimistic about the Stormers’ current loose forward resources and said that a number of injured players should be making their return soon.

“We’re fortunate because Nizaam Carr played really well when he came on. Notshe’s playing great rugby and Siya was outstanding, so those three are fit and ready to go. Below that I think we have really good players, but we don’t have much experience," he said.

“We’ve got Johan du Toit who’s just come back from a serious injury, but he’s fit and ready. I’m sure that he’ll get a go somewhere pretty soon. And then we’ve got Jaco (Coetzee), he was good in the pre-season and he’s working pretty hard.

“I think Rynhardt (Elstadt) will ready sooner than we think. He didn’t have to have an operation on his ankle. The boot’s came off and he started rehab. Stephan de Wit should also be cleared in four or so weeks. So by the time we come back from tour hopefully our numbers will increase”

In good news for the Stormers, Winter added that form scrumhalf Jano Vermaak, who missed the Chiefs clash due to a concussion, should be available this weekend and that he took part in Monday's training session, although he still has a couple of concussion tests to pass.

On a more positive note, Winter also said that the team is still smiling after the weekend’s win, and who could blame them?

But while Winter revealed that the victory definitely boosted the Stormers' confidence and belief, he acknowledged that they have another “massive” game against the Lions awaiting them this weekend. A massive game against a team that will pose the same threats as the Kiwis

“We’re still smiling about the weekend, but we know we’ve got a massive game coming this weekend,” Winter said.

Cape Argus

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