Potential injury setbacks to the likes of lock Pieter-Steph du Toit and captain Siya Kolisi have cast a cloud over the Stormers’ thrilling 34-22 Super Rugby win over the Highlanders at Newlands at the weekend.
The win kept the Stormers in touch with the leaders in the South African Conference but it might have come at a price.
Du Toit, who had to be moved from his regular No 7 position to lock prior to the match after Eben Etzebeth pulled out with flu, was struggling with a shoulder injury late in the game before eventually being replaced by a hooker in debutant Chad Solomon.
Solomon had to play at flank, with flank Kobus van Dyk moved to lock as Kolisi was also off the field shortly after scoring the Stormers’ second try late in the first half with a knee injury.
Stormers coach Robbie Fleck said they would have to be really smart this week with regards to how they handled the injuries before their crucial game against the Lions at Ellis Park this weekend.
“Pieter-Steph has an AC and it’s something he has had for a while now, so he has to go and see the specialist again, while Siya will have to go for scans after getting a knock,” he said.
“There are also others like Scarra Ntubeni who got a knock to the quad, which is similar to the injury Bongi Mbonambi had, while Kobus van Dyk had a knock to the knee.”
Fleck, however, was glad his team had managed to turn the corner and stay in the fight.
“It was a really challenging week, having had to face Kiwi teams back to back, which is really tough physically and makes the recovery period really vital,” he said.
“But the guys really stood up and made the mental shift, and the big focal point was to build on the Crusaders performance (the week before) and the guys really did.”