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Bok heads home as Stormers pick up the pieces after first defeat

SPOTLIGHT: The Stormers will continue their United Rugby Championship tour without one of their Boks.

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On Tuesday, Stormers assistant coach Labeeb Levy revealed that prop Lizo Gqoboka returned to Cape Town following the 9-20 defeat to Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun Stadium last Friday.

It was the Capetonians’ first defeat of the season after wins over the Lions and Scarlets in the opening rounds.

“Lizo hurt his arm in the game so he won’t be up for selection,” said Levy. “At this point, everyone else [in the tour squad] is fit for selection.

“He [Gqoboka] went for a scan today [Tuesday], so we are just waiting on the medical report. He got hurt in a scrum.

“I can’t say what the final prognosis is because he flew back to Cape Town.”

The story continues below…

Areas of concern

Meanwhile, the Stormers have identified plenty of work-ons before their second tour match against Benetton in Treviso.

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A lot of the spotlight has fallen on the set-pieces and discipline.

“In the game, you go through different types of emotions and then you think certain things were wrong. We had some challenges in the line-out early on, especially when we could have had some good launches and then the scrums were inconsistent from our perspective, but obviously, we had to adapt,” Levy explained.

“Against the Scarlets, we had 29 offloads and against Glasgow, we had five. Last week we had around 150 passes and against Glasgow we didn’t even hit the 100 mark, so it wasn’t that type of game.

“Playing on that [4G] pitch brings different challenges, but upon review, from the physicality perspective on defence, the ball carries and pushing each other through contact, those boxes were ticked.

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“If we had taken a bit more opportunities it would have been closer and we could have gone for the win, so it was a close game and we were quite happy with the physicality which our boys showed, but there are work-ons which are reflected on the scoreboard.”

The Stormers also had two players in the form of Evan Roos and Joseph Dweba yellow-carded in quick succession for dangerous tackles.

“We talk about controllables – if you get blown for an offside penalty, it’s usually one step, so that’s a controllable. If you spear someone, put him down lightly,” Levy added.

“We want to control what we can control. We don’t want to give away unnecessary penalties.

“We want to get into the areas where we are quite strong, so we can get our players excited to play the brand we want to play.”

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