Jantjes ready to be considered

PUBLISHED: February 18, 2008

Good news for Vodacom Stormers supporters is that there are no injury concerns in the camp ahead of Saturday’s second Super 14 fixture, against the Sharks in Durban.

The Stormers put up a brave fight against the Bulls at Newlands the past Saturday in the opening fixture and were desperately unlucky to go down 16-9.

The team started their preparation for Saturday’s game on Monday morning with a video session. Media manager Frikkie Erasmus said while there was a sense of disappointment, the players are not despondent.

“At least they know now they can take on the Bulls. They know they could have won that game, especially after having watch the video.”

Erasmus confirmed the team received a clean bill of health and added that Springbok fullback Conrad Jantjes was ready to be considered for the Sharks game.

Coach Rassie Erasmus last week said Jantjes was fit, but felt that it was only one week too soon for the former Lions star to make a return after hand surgery late in December.

Gio Aplon had a good game though and Erasmus would have a difficult choice between his two fullbacks.

Captain Jean de Villiers said there were a lot of sore bodies, but that was to be expected after a game against the Bulls. “We’ll just have to start all over again for the Sharks game.”

The centre was glad to report he has come through the game unscathed after having been out of action since the World Cup in France due to an arm injury. Last week he didn’t participate in all the training sessions due to a hamstring strain.

The Springbok was of the opinion that the Stormers adapted quite efficiently to the new experimental law variations (ELV’s).

“I thought we adapted quite nicely to it, we didn’t make a lot of mistakes. They (the Bulls) struggled a bit with it, for instance kicking the ball out on the full when the rucks were outside their 22.

“It wasn’t that fast because the rucks were slow and some of the other games were definitely faster.”

De Villiers rued the opportunities his team has created, but couldn’t convert to points. “They scored the try and we lost the game… that’s how it works, unfortunately,” he said.

“We had our chances, but didn’t take them. In this sort of competition you have to use your opportunities and we didn’t. It’s not that we didn’t create the opportunities, we did, but we didn’t capitalise on them.

“It is disappointing but it’s a start and there is a lot to work with.”

He said the one point the Stormers earned for a defeat within seven points was scant consolation. “A loss is a loss, no matter by many points and yes, we did get one point for losing within 7, but it is not nice losing.

“Losing at home is not good. For us it’s just about getting back to the training field, have a look at the video, see where we went wrong and get it right for the Sharks.”