One of the trickiest parts of Vodacom Super Rugby for all teams, but especially those from South Africa, has always been the long tours that the players endure when playing away.
The long time away from home can make life difficult for the players, but captain Schalk Burger insists that the team has already acclimatised in well following their long flight to Auckland. “We have settle in nicely. We arrived on Monday night and had a good training session on Tuesday to shake off all the tightness from the trip. The weather was surprisingly good on Tuesday, which helped. Unfortunately Wednesday was typical New Zealand weather with wind and rain, but I think the team is in a good space at the moment.”
Whilst the priority is preparations for the weekend’s game, the staff knows it is important to relax the mind as well on what can be a very demanding tour for the boys. That is why the team also are given some off-time as part of the trip. Schalk said on Wednesday evening: “On Tuesday night we had a team dinner at a local steakhouse, which was great. The boys ate as much as they could and it was thoroughly enjoyed. Thursday is our one day off a week, so we were hoping to play golf, but the weather has not been so good so we will see. It will be nice just to get out of the hotel for a bit.”
Looking at Saturday’s game, Burger is looking for a better display than their previous clash, when the team take on the Chiefs. “We are looking forward to the game. It is important to get a good result following last week’s game. We are looking for an improved performance from the guys.
“The Chiefs are coming off a good win. They have a good loose trio and although they lost Scott Waldrom, they still have Liam Messam who has been around a while. They will be attacking the breakdown so the onus will be on the ball carriers to try and produce good ball. It should be a great clash.”
DHL Stormers team: Conrad Jantjes, Gio Aplon, Jaque Fourie, Jean De Villiers, Bryan Habana, Peter Grant, Ricky Januarie, Duane Vermeulen, Francois Louw, Schalk Burger (C), Andries Bekker, Rynhardt Elstadt, Brok Harris, Deon Fourie, Wicus Blaauw
Reserves: Tiaan Liebenberg, Steven Kitshoff, De Kock Steenkamp, Anton Van Zyl, Dewaldt Duvenage, Lionel Cronje, Juan De Jongh