VIDEO: Kitshoff explains 'secret' behind Stormers scrum power
Power plays are synonymous with the Springbok-laden Stormers pack.
However, their famed forward dominance is not the result of sheer muscle.
It requires hours and hours of hard work, according to captain Steven Kitshoff.
Speaking ahead of their crucial Rainbow Cup South Africa Round Four encounter with the Sharks – in Durban on Saturday – Kitshoff revealed that it is not down to the individuals, especially their scrum dominance.
Five of the eight Stormers’ starting forward in Durban on Saturday are Springboks – Pieter-Steph du Toit, Marvin Orie, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi and Kitshoff (captain).
Flank Willie Engelbrecht and lock John Schickerling (former SA A and SA Under-20) are also in the Bok frame – or at least in the wider squad.
Evan Roos, on loan from the Sharks, is a former SA Schools player.
Kitshoff was adamant that the Stormers’ famed scrumming is not just about the front row power.
It is a ‘collective’ effort and hard work.
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“A lot of our work revolves around the back five [locks and loose forwards],” Kitshoff told a virtual media briefing this week.
“The work we do during the week, in preparing for scrums, they [the back five] bring the pure power.
“The front row does the technical work and they just bring pure power.”
Kitshoff said it is important for the second row and back row forwards to ‘pitch up’.
“It is as important for us [the front row] that they have a good scrummaging game, as it is for them that we [the front row] lift [the locks] well [in the line-outs] and maul well.
“We work together as a team, like that.”
The Stormers will look to avenge the first-round loss they suffered at the hands of the Sharks on May 1.
Reniel Hugo scored a hat-trick of tries as the Sharks recovered from a 7-23 deficit to win 33-30, when these sides met in Cape Town in Round One.
The Stormers have been involved in another two tight affairs since then, losing 16-20 to the Bulls, before beating the Lions 39-37.
However, they have not won back-to-back away games since beating the Cheetahs and the Bulls in Super Rugby in July 2017.
The head-to-head record between these sides is fairly even, with the Sharks edging it with 18 victories from 32 fixtures, although the Stormers are heading to a venue where the hosts have won their last eight matches.
* Additional reporting by @PRO14Official