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Is a pre season game really worth the risk?

February 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

As we know, warm up games play a huge part in a team’s approach to the season.  Many coaches take this time to give fringe players a chance to show them whether they are up for the challenge of Super 15 rugby, and many times we end up with gems within that teams.

If you look at last year, the Stormers and Sharks bought through two gems in Marcell Coetzee and Eben Etzebeth, who played consistent for club and country over the last year.

The point I am trying to make though, is that no matter which way you look at it, the Sharks and Stormers were dealt massive blows to their campaigns, even before it kicked off.  The Stormers lost Eben to a injury, putting him out for up to 8 weeks, which is a massive blow if you consider the amount of physicality he brings to their front row.  He will be sorely missed.  As much can be said about the Sharks, losing Keegan Daniel with a MCL injury and Tim Whitehead with a broken arm.  The severity of the injuries are not known yet but will shortly, this will put a lot of pressure on the Sharks.

I do feel though that we have sufficient cover at Loose forward, but suddenly they seem stretched at Outside Centre.  Whitehead is a good player, who must have been one of the in form players in the Sharks jersey last year, had injury not hampered his progress to a sure Green and Gold stint.  Paul Jordaan as we know is another explosive player who is electric and space.  I do hope that he can fill the void, now left by the former Stormer Centre.

Which brings me to my topic.  Is warm up games really necessary if you are going to get casualties?  Yes, is my answer, as you could have seen, their opposition may not have been Super Rugby sides but rugby as we know and love is a contact sport first of all, and what it does when you don’t play any form of pre season warmup is that you in essence play catchup, because players cannot be put in a cacoon and be expected to deliver their best.

More on squad updates as we move along, not long now until Super Rugby 2013 is upon us.  Heck, before we know it, we will be asking for it to be over…..nah, we love rugby too much.

6 responses to Is a pre season game really worth the risk?

  1. Good post. If you don’t play warm-up games, the start of your SR campaign will serve as a warm-up and you are prone to injuries anyway. It’s a matter of weighing up the benefits vs the risks of pre-season games. I’m in support of the pre-season games – at least some of the rust are shed and “rugby-mode” is activated.

  2. The queens seem to think its not worth risking your top players in warm up games. They’ll only play their full strength team once, against griquas this week. Maybe they’re worried about their depth and dont want to risk their top players (if you can call them top players..).

    • Well the Kings have a problem. Their 1st choice team is just about SR level and at the bottom end of the spectrum.
      But their 2nd string side is barely Vodacom Cup level. Thus if they have and injury to a key player or two then they will be in deep trouble.
      So for them it might not be worth risking it all before the SR tournament.

  3. Agree players need to take some contact before the season starts.
    It is a pity about Eben, Daniels and Whitehead but injuries are part of the game and this could have happened in the first 5 mins of SR round one.

    That is why depth is so important in SR. The Stormers and the Sharks have real impressive depth this season. So while you do lose some with the injury of 1st choice players it gives another guy a chance to step up.

    This might in some weird way help these players as they will be 6 – 8 weeks fresher at the end of the season when the really hard and important games are played.

  4. @lst Kanko will be able to start as 8th man with bone-collector and Marcell at openside and that will good for the Boks as kanko is our best 8th man,pity about Tim but I then think its a blessing for Eben to be out as Coetzee would have been reluctant to play without him in SR so now he will know that there are players who can cover for Eben when he is not there.How could a near full strength Lions team struggle to beat a second kings team??

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