At the team’s training base in Bellville on Monday, De Villiers says that the team’s dominant performances at the set-piece can be attributed to hard work during the pre-season and a few new techniques.
“It’s still early days, but we’re very happy. The players have been putting in a lot of hard work during the pre-season. We’ve worked on a lot of important things like shape and endurance, and we got some specialised training aids as well that really helped us a lot with that preparation,” De Villiers said.
“We don’t have a new scrummaging technique, our system stayed the same, but some new methods maybe, to make them more used to eccentric scrumming efforts.”
The eccentric training refers to a type of muscular contraction or training. Basically, the Stormers pack have trained to absorb the force or shove from an opposing pack while maintaining their shape.
De Villiers also said that the lengthy pre-season period the Stormers enjoyed helped them to get their players used to the technique, and said that although they’ve added a few new methods, their scrummaging systems are still the same.
“We’ve had time. Any training method needs time and we had a long pre-season to get the players exposed and used to this method.”
Against the Jaguares, the Stormers didn’t have as many scrums as they would have liked, and De Villiers was also confident the Stormers’ forwards would have dealt well with the strenuous physical effort players suffer during scrums.
“We would have liked to get into scrums a bit earlier, because scrums do create a certain type of fatigue with the players. And we’ve worked hard to get our players used to that fatigue.”