Vodacom Stormers forwards coach Gary Gold is confident props JD Moller and Brian Mujati will be ready to square up to the Bulls in their Super 14 match at Loftus in Pretoria on Saturday.
The front-rowers were both injured in Saturday’s Vodacom Super 14 defeat to the Blues at Newlands. Hooker Deon Fourie had to fill in at prop and that led to uncontested scrums.
Gold said he was confident that Moller (shoulder) and Mujati (neck) were not seriously injured, but said there was still concern over flanker Schalk Burger.
“We still need to discuss the options,” said Gold when asked whether Francois Louw would be in the starting XV if Burger has to sit out. “You also have guys like Pieter Louw and Pieter Myburgh who are champing at the bit.”
The Stormers managment will announce their team for Saturday on Wednesday, with fullback Conrad Jantjes another player on the doubtful list.
Gold believes his forwards are good enough to live with the imposing Bulls pack.
“(Former WP hooker) Johan van Wyk has done plenty of work with the scrum and we’re reasonably happy with that department,” Gold said. “If you look at how we dominated territory and possession last Saturday, I don’t think you can accuse the forwards of laying a poor platform. It was more a case of missing those try-scoring chances.
“We’re unbelievably disappointed and frustrated – more so than any Stormers fans out there. There’s plenty to improve in the forward department this week, but it’s more about finishing once we’ve created those opportunities. We need to turn those chances into points.”
The Bulls are unbeaten after three matches. The Stormers know they have to win this game after two defeats in three games. Gold said beating the Bulls at Loftus would be a daunting task.
“The Blues were very physical, but it’s an even tougher challenge this week,” said Gold. “Our track record’s not very good at Loftus and that crowd can influence proceedings. We know what to expect, but that doesn’t make it any easier.
“They should have Victor Matfield back and the rest of their forwards are always very physical in contact. Pierre Spies has been fantastic thus far, and then you have Deon Stegmann and Dewald Potgieter, two players who possess an unbelievable energy.
“The fact that they are keeping a Springbok like Pedrie Wannenburg out of the starting line-up is something. It shows Frans Ludeke is willing to trust in his younger players, but it also showcases the tremendous depth at the Bulls. Both Deon and Dewald will be a handful this Saturday.”