Stormers sweating over another flyhalf injury
REACTION: The Stormers finally broke their Rainbow Cup drought, but it may have come at a price.
Speaking after their fortuitous 39-37, injury-time winner over the Lions at Ellis Park this past weekend, Stormers coach John Dobson confirmed that flyhalf Abner van Reenen has aggravated a shoulder injury.
“He had a sore shoulder last week – a stinger – and it got worse against the Lions,” Dobson told a virtual media briefing.
The coach suggested it could be a problem with the AC joint, but he was unsure how serious it was.
The Stormers management will be anxiously awaiting the medical update on Monday, as they have already lost one flyhalf this season.
Young Kade Wolhuter was ruled out for the rest of the year, after he ruptured knee ligaments (ACL) in the opening round loss to the Sharks.
In Tim Swiel and Damian Willemse (now used mostly as a fullback), they have adequate cover.
However, one more injury in the No.10 channel could be critical.
At least the Stormers managed to get their first win of the season, after two home defeats.
They scored five tries each, but a Tim Swiel penalty goal in injury-time handed the Stormers a narrow 39-37 victory.
After a couple of close defeats at home – 30-33 to the Sharks in Round One and 16-20 to the Bulls a week later – the Stormers coach, Dobson, was a relieved man to finally register a ‘W’ in the results column.
“If you look at the balance of the last three games, we probably deserved the ball to finally bounce for us,” the Cape Town franchise’s coach said.
Dobson, asked by @rugby365com which aspect of his team’s game improved most in the last month, said they are making progress in their desire to play a more attacking brand.
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“We are playing more rugby and trying to create and trying to find space,” Dobson said.
“We are playing a more balanced game, which started in the preparation matches where we wanted to play a more attacking brand and it is coming through.”
He said it is “pleasing” that they are not just relying on mauls and scrums to get the results.
“To play a more attacking game and still be able to maul and scrum requires extraordinary conditioning,”the coach said.
“Our training numbers are considerably above match intensity, the hardest day of the week including a match is actually a Wednesday.
“I think that is paying off because in the last three games the Stormers have been really energetic and going in the last five minutes.
“We have worked really hard on the conditioning.
“Before, when we were so scrum and maul based, we couldn’t play an attacking game because the guys didn’t have the legs.
“So we are trying to get a blend and we have still got a way to go to be a better team,” he added.