Concern over Bekker and Moller

PUBLISHED: April 14, 2008

The Stormers’ victory celebrations were a bit marred by the news about injuries to JD Moller and Andries Bekker on Saturday.

The Stormers continued their rich vein of form by beating the Cheetahs 34-22 at Newlands. On Saturday they will be taking on the Hurricanes, who annihilated the Bulls at Loftus in Pretoria.

Loosehead prop Moller and lock Bekker sustained an ankle and groin injury respectively.

Coach Rassie Erasmus said there was a good chance that Moller would be declared fit to play this week. More certainty about the injury situation would be given at training on Monday.

Tighthead prop Brian Mujati played at loosehead during the second half and Erasmus was encouraged by his performance. The coach also mentioned that Schalk Ferreira, who is on the comeback trail after a neck injury, played a match for the University of Stellenbosch on Friday.

Eramus was happy with the five points his side earned on Saturday, but admitted that the second half performance didn’t impress him.

“Yes, as good as the fist half was, as disappointing was the second. I must say it’s wonderful and there were still opportunities for tries in first half that we didn’t take.

“Unfortunately the second half was not up to scratch. But I know these Cheetah boys and I know how gutsy they are. I know how determined they are and I am happy to get 5 points against them because they are not a bad team.”

The coach admitted there was added pressure on the boys to win this one.

“The Force one was also pretty special because we felt we played a pretty complete game in all facets. This game was pleasing in that there was added pressure to win the first game at Newlands in front of a packed stadium.

“If you don’t get a win it is almost like a negative, but now it’s a big positive because the bogey is gone now. It’s wonderful.

“Luckily we didn’t play well in the second half, so there are lots to work on and try to improve every single time. I just hope for the remaining four games at Newlands we can get the same big crowds. It is lovely to play in front of them.

Looking at the reasons for the lapse in the second half, Erasmus said there were a few factors that could have contributed.

“I think there were few factors. The bye we had had something to do with that. You can simulate intensity at training and we didn’t do that at all last week.

“We gave the guys a break from rugby contact and maybe that had an influence. In the beginning we played only one warm-up match and I think that will benefit us later in the competition.

“Now with a few games to go we played one or two warm-up games less and the bodies have adapted to everything. I cannot say it is because of fitness and I can’t say we didn’t play structure.

“We didn’t play well. Maybe we made one or two substitutions too late or too early. That is something I have to go look at and make sure I didn’t make a mistake there.”