Swart, the SA Rugby Union’s scrum expert, has been visiting the Currie Cup provinces and is helping players adapt to the new laws. “The forwards did not train today because Balie Swart is here and he’ll finish his stint later with a live scrum session,” said WP head coach Allister Coetzee.
“Balie is going around the country to help players understand the new laws and to assist with learning the correct scrum technique.” Coetzee and backline coach Robbie Fleck had the backs running at full tilt during their training session, in preparation for their match against the Blue Bulls at Loftus this weekend.
“On a Monday we like to keep the spirits up because some players are still feeling the brunt of the weekend game,” said Coetzee. “We’re preparing for Loftus and our match comes at a time when the Bulls have built up momentum after defeating the Cheetahs.
“It is never easy at Loftus and I can’t think when last we’ve won a Currie Cup match there. Coetzee said their training this week would be about getting the psyche right.
“We would like to pitch at Loftus with the same attitude that we displayed against the Sharks.”
Meanwhile, Juan de Jongh was rested because of an injury niggle and he is likely to start training again on Tuesday, while Flanks Deon Fourie and Ryhardt Elstadt picked up injuries at Newlands against the Sharks.
“Ryhardt is not a major concern and it is our way of managing him,” said Coetzee.
“Deon took a knock to the ribs and he’s suffered a muscle injury. It is not an injury that goes away easily, but we’ll wait until Friday to see if he’s fit to play.”
The possible loss of Fourie prompted discussion about a likely candidate to take over the captaincy from Fourie.
“Louis Schreuder is our vice-captain and we’re also looking at De Kock Steenkamp, who has captained the team in the past,” Coetzee said. “We’ll have a clearer picture of Deon’s position when we receive a specialist’s report on his injury.”
All three squad flyhalves looked sharp at training on Monday, but it seems unlikely that Kurt Coleman will be deposed at the first choice.
“The situation is that we may have three flyhalves up for selection, but in view of what we’re planning for the Bulls it’s likely that only one will go to Loftus,” said Coetzee. “I’m looking at a 5-2 split for the [substitutes] bench and that means there will only be two backline slots.
“I don’t think that Demetri [Catrakilis] is entirely comfortable [after his injury] and I’d to see him playing off the bench initially, rather than have a spell of club rugby to sharpen his match fitness.
“Kurt [Coleman] has been very consistent and he’s grown in stature with every game. Besides, his place-kicking has been excellent, so it won’t be easy to drop him at this stage.”