Stormers to rest players?

Date published: June 8 2015

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Stormers coach Allistair Coetzee could rest several of his first-choice players against the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

The Cape Town-based outfit face the Sharks in their final league match of 2015, knowing that there is still an outside chance of a potential home semi-final.

But Coetzee admitted that it would be difficult to attain that goal which could influence which side he picks for this weekend's clash.

“Second place is a bit of a tough one now, but we’ve got plans and I’ve got an opportunity to rest some guys and, in the process, keep building the capacity of our squad," he told the franchise's website.

“We still want to select our best possible side against the Sharks, we always play to win and want to give our best, but it might be an opportunity to rest a few players who have been over-reaching of late.”

Coetzee is pleased that the Stormers claimed an unprecedented third South African Super Rugby Conference title with a game to spare, despite facing up to the Lions without regular captain abd number eight Duane Vermeulen.

The 2011 and 2012 – and now 2015 – SA Conference winners scrapped to a 19-19 draw against the Lions at Newlands on Saturday.

“It was our first objective (the SA Conference title), as that’s your way into the play-offs, and to do it with a game in hand is certainly very pleasing," he explained.

“We had a tough week, there were some tough challenges; losing Duane at the 11th hour, losing Demetri Catrakilis early in the match and also having had Scarra Ntubeni ruled out with his calf-muscle injury – so, again, it shows the character of this team.

“We all know that the Lions are a good team, a form team, and they came with everything at us. The way we defended, especially at the end… hats off to the team, a quality team that wasn’t given much of a chance to win the SA Conference ahead of the season.”

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