CAPE TOWN – Many Stormers fans are probably still basking in the glory of their team’s emphatic victory over the Bulls at Newlands on Saturday.
And while the energetic display would’ve been the main topic of conversation at many water-coolers around Cape Town on Monday morning, the players and coaches decided to do something different to nurse the aches and pains of what was a typically brutal North-South derby.
Instead of spending the entire day at the rather dreary setting of their Bellville training headquarters, Robbie Fleck took his team to what is surely one of his favourite places in the world – a beach.
An avid surfer, Fleck led the way as the players went to Muizenberg beach to catch some waves on a chilly autumn morning.
While it was not entirely clear if the two powerhouse props, Steven Kitshoff and Wilco Louw, zipped up in lycra, star flyhalf Damian Willemse had a birthday to remember in the water.
Thanks to @SurfEmporium for a recovery session with a difference this morning in Muizenberg. #DHLStormers are ready for another big week. #iamastormer #WeStandTogether #greenroom pic.twitter.com/1YxXzj7EzN
Willemse made up for a difficult first encounter with Handré Pollard at Loftus earlier this year with a fine performance at Newlands on Saturday as he mixed up his game well and steered the Stormers confidently around the park.
He also scored an opportunist try in which he left Jesse Kriel for dead with an outrageous sidestep, before riding Pollard’s tackle to dot down.
And guess how old Willemse turned on Monday? Just 20…
DHL Stormer, Damian Willemse, celebrating his birthday today with a surf! Happy Birthday Damian! 🎉🏄🏼🎉 #surfemporium #learn2surf #surfrentals #surfing #happybirthday #beach #celebrating #ocean #paddle #surferdude #muizenberg #capetown pic.twitter.com/p192pyto74
Next up are the mighty Chiefs from Hamilton at Newlands on Saturday (3.05pm kickoff), but while the Stormers are still some way from securing a Super Rugby playoff spot, the 29-17 triumph over the old enemy would’ve gone a long way to restoring some pride and belief among their supporters.
And it resulted in a well-deserved dip in the sea.