Stormers

Coach slams ‘stupid’ Stormers

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Stormers coach Kobus van der Merwe will be hoping for some positive news on the injury front on Monday as his team starts to pick up the pieces from their devastating 35-24 loss to the Highlanders in Dunedin at the weekend.

Both the coach, van der Merwe, and the captain, Luke Watson, said that the players will have to “lift their heads” and start focussing on their next assignment – an encounter with the Hurricanes in Wellington on Saturday.

However, Van der Merwe’s initial concerns will centre around the knee injury suffered by hooker Schalk Brits, who will go for a scan on Monday.

The coach, who said he will make no decision on the player until the results of the scans are known, could call up Huia Edmonds if Brits has to return home. .

They are also still monitoring the injuries that kept utility back Conrad Jantjes (thigh muscle strain) and wing Egon Seconds (hamstring) out of the loss in Dunedin at the weekend.

Van der Merwe will make a call later in the week on the injured players.

The team will utilise Monday for recovery purposes and also have a very intense video session in which they hope to find reasons for their shocking performance against the Highlanders.

But Van der Merwe admitted the defeat in Dunedin was a bitter pill to swallow.

He said he was “utterly heart-broken”.

The coach now has to find a way to lift the mood in the camp after the Cape franchise suffered their third defeat in four Super 14 starts this season.

“That was a game we should have won,” Van der Merwe said. “We threw it away. We did almost all the playing, but we just kept making stupid mistakes that cost us. We gave away 24 points through stupid errors.”

Captain Luke Watson preferred to laud the opponents for the way they performed.

“You have to give credit to the Highlanders,” said Watson. “They arrived back in New Zealand [from South Africa] a day after us and adapted to the conditions better than we did.

“We weren’t as clinical as we’d like to be. At times we strung some phases together but we had a lot of turnovers and you can’t afford that.

“The Highlanders are a very physical side. The last few times we’ve played here it’s been wet and raining so we were aiming to play a forward-oriented game but, in the end, the conditions were great and the backs stepped up well.”

 

365 Digital

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