CAPE TOWN – Stormers assistant coach Paul Feeney says they won’t be reading too much into the Sharks’ defeat to the Bulls when they travel to Durban this weekend.
The Sharks suffered a 40-10 thrashing against the Bulls at the weekend, and while they’ll be looking to make up for that disappointment, the Stormers have their own making up to do.
Robbie Fleck’s team have won just three of their eight Super Rugby games this season, with all three of those defeats coming when they played away from Newlands.
So as the Stormers look to get their campaign back on track after a bye, Feeney reckons that the Sharks will be putting everything into training for their home encounter against the Cape side. “We don’t read much into that. The Sharks will be disappointed with their performance, so I’d say their coach would have had one or two harsh words, so they will be training hard this week,” he said.
“We’ve had a couple of poor runs. We obviously want a strong start and we want to score first. There’s eight games left, if we don’t win this one we’ll be making life difficult for ourselves.”
“The Lions have already had six home games out of eight, we’ve had three. So we’ve got five home games after this. We can still be in the mix at the end of the day.”
Feeney, in charge of the Stormers’ unstructured attack and defence, also said that they will have more players to choose from this week, with a number of guys returning from injury.
“We’ve got a few players back at training, so that’s promising. There are players back who obviously haven’t played yet, so some of them will play for John Dobson.”
“Jean-Luc du Plessis needs a week with John Dobson (SuperSport Rugby Challenge), but we’ll have JJ Engelbrecht, Dan Kriel and Dewaldt Duvenage. It’s a good time to welcome back some people. Frans is good to go. We’ll still be assessing Cobus Wiese in the next few days. So we’re in a better spot than we were two weeks ago.”
Springbok lock Pieter-Steph du Toit, one of the more consistent performers this season, admitted that they are feeling a “bit under the pump” after the first half of Super Rugby.
“A team performs based in their confidence...how many games they’ve won in the past, so at the moment we feel a bit under the pump,” he said.
And in terms of what he’s expecting from the Sharks pack in particular, Du Toit said”: “But as coach Paul said, we have a few games at home after this, so we see that as a positive.
“It’s kind of a must-win for both teams. Their lineout has top players. Their scrum as well.”
“They have a very good pack so we can’t be complacent when it comes to the scrums or the lineouts.”