The Vodacom Stormers would not be lulled into a false sense of security after they annihilated the Southern Spears 73-5 at Wellington on Saturday.
That was the message from coach Kobus van der Merwe. His squad on Monday spent the first day of their three-day camp at Swellendam, where they work on the mental side of their preparation for the Super 14 competition.
Van der Merwe said the team was in the fortunate position where they didn’t suffer any serious injuries in the two warm-up games.
He said wing Tonderai Chavhanga and centre De Wet Barry should be fit to be considered for the first game, on February 11 against the Cats in Johannesburg. Team management is still hopeful that Springbok centre Marius Joubert would at least be ready to be on the bench.
Turning to Saturday’s game at Boland Stadium, Van der Merwe said the first 20 minutes were really difficult, but he thought the visitors were just intent on spoiling everything.
“We couldn’t get going properly, but the guys stuck to our structures very well. They didn’t become impatient and just started to throw the ball around. I am very glad about that.
“You know, it was a training match, but I told the guys before the time this is the only game we have to put things together and we were actually scared that it would be a case of them just trying to keep the score low. But the guys stuck to the plan and we built an innings.
“I think a good lesson from that game was that you shouldn’t make mistakes and keep your opponent under pressure the whole time.”
Van der Merwe added a positive was that every time the Stormers kept the ball for longer than three phases they put points on the board.
However, the performance in the first 20 minutes gave him reason for concern. “I was a bit worried. Because it was their first game and the first time they played together, the guys tried to off-load in the contest and we had a few bad passes.