Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus said the early second-half loss of captain Jean de Villiers brought about a “confidence dent” in his side’s ranks at Newlands on Saturday where the Sharks ran out 20-15 winners, after trailing 10-0 at halftime.
De Villiers suffered with a severe bump to the head four minutes into the second half and he was stretchered off and taken to hospital immediately.
“We’ve (the Stormers management) heard that Jean (De Villiers) had a numbness here and there (in his arm) when he arrived at hospital but that has since gone away,” Erasmus said after the match.
“He seems all right but he is being carefully monitored and we’re hoping he’ll be back at training on Monday or Tuesday.
“After he left the field we suffered a confidence dent and it’s something we’ll have to work on because we took about 10 to 15 minutes to find our feet again.”
De Villiers was replaced by Joe Pietersen, a utility back who has played mostly at flyhalf in pre-season time, and although he gave a good account of himself the Stormers’ backline was never as threatening again in the match.
Erasmus said he made the call in the week not to have a specialist centre on the bench and felt that he could not bring on Percy Montgomery to play at centre because the veteran Springbok had not spent any time in that position.
“I did not think it would be fair on Percy to play there when he didn’t train there at all,” said Erasmus.
“This injury to Jean is going to test the depth in our squad.”
Sharks coach John Plumtree said that his side looked a bit “rusty”.
“I thought we were not active enough at breakdown point,” said Plumtree.
“This is our first game and we’ll get better. “We knew we had to play for 80 minutes. The challenge was for them to stay with us for all that time.”
Sapa – Super14.com