Springboks Pieter-Steph du Toit and Siya Kolisi are injury concerns ahead of the Stormers’ crunch match against the Lions next week. JON CARDINELLI reports.
The Stormers beat the Highlanders’ 34-22 at Newlands on Saturday. It remains to be seen, however, if all of their Boks will be available for the next game at Ellis Park.
Du Toit was felled on several occasions during the fixture against the Highlanders. Kolisi, the Stormers skipper, left the field before half-time with an injury.
Coach Robbie Fleck described the performance as one of the best of the Stormers’ campaign. He laughed when he was asked about the injury situation.
‘We took a few knocks over the course of the contest, and had to be smart with our substitutions at the end,’ said Fleck. ‘Pieter-Steph and Scarra Ntubeni played close to 80 minutes, even though they were carrying injuries.
‘It’s been a real challenge for us over the past two weeks. There were a lot of bumps and bruises after the Crusaders game, and there are a lot of tired bodies after the game against the Highlanders.
‘We will give the guys Monday off to recover. We may even wait until Thursday to train, as some of the guys may need some extra time. It’s important that we get them back, because the Lions game is a big one.’
Fleck said that Kolisi will go for scans to his knee. Du Toit, who has a pre-existing shoulder problem, will see a specialist on Monday.
Ntubeni took a knock to his thigh. The Stormers are already without frontline hooker Bongi Mbonambi (also a thigh problem), who is only expected to return in two weeks’ time.
The Stormers made an impression, though. Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger admitted afterwards that the Kiwi side struggled to live with the physicality of the Stormers.
‘We were chasing them for most of the game,’ said Mauger. ‘They were more physical, and really beat us around the collisions and breakdowns.
‘If they keep playing like they did today, I believe they will go far in the tournament. The fans in this region should be really excited about the rugby they are producing at present.’
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