Adapt or die for Stormers

December 10, 2013
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Stormers coach Allister Coetzee believes that his team need to adapt their game next year if they are to challenge for Super Rugby honours.

Coetzee cites Western Province’s Currie Cup Final loss to the Sharks as a harsh lesson that teams will not make the mistake of trying to ‘engage’ with his side.

The Stormers coach believes that his team’s renowned defensive system means that the opposition are no longer willing to run at them and pointed to the kicking game the Sharks employed at Newlands as an example of what they will have to deal with week-in and week-out in Super Rugby next year.

He told this website: “Teams don’t want to engage with us anymore which is what happened in the Currie Cup Final – the Sharks weren’t prepared to run, they opted to kick so therefore your tactics have to change.

“Every game you lose you investigate and you pick up trends. We expected the Sharks to kick behind our wings in the corners; they kicked from middle ruck which was something different and someone who had an insight into the way we defend worked it out.

“On the day, I am not blaming any player, but it was difficult for the players to adjust to that but we have learned again from that.”

Coetzee said that this approach is something that teams such as the Crusaders and Reds have used against them in the past, and added that the challenge is to adapt their gameplan accordingly.

“The big thing is not engaging with the Stormers, when we played the Crusaders this year it took us ten minutes to understand that they were not prepared to run.

“Teams respect our defence so much, so we have to look at opportunities and be able to utilise the position we are in,” he said.

The Stormers boss said that he was encouraged by the way his team attacked in the Currie Cup, which is something he hopes to carry forward into Super Rugby next year.

“What we have always been striving to do is ensure we have balance in the way we play. I think we progressed in the Currie Cup in terms of our attack and the way we utilised turnover possession and counter-attacking opportunities.

“In the past we might have been conservative and defence-orientated, but one has got to understand that was done because that is how the competition goes and to put the odds in your favour you can’t do something else.

“Now we also see that there are other opportunities, that is the important thing for us next year – we have got to get the balance.

“Certain things worked in the Currie Cup and we will certainly take that into Super Rugby without deviating from our strong defence and strong kicking game,” he said.

By Michael de Vries

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5 Comments

  1. avatar Cheetah Glory says:
    December 10th, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    The stormers are the only team I cannot physically watch play a game of rugby. They have a knack of drawing every team into this never-ending arm-wrestle that ends with the stormers winning but 4.

    Great for them, but god do they suffocate the life out of what should be a good sport.

  2. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    December 10th, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    It’s all about a balance on attack, defence and kicking game.

    Some teams get it right most of the times and some only in a few games. That was that made the Bulls team such a great team a few years back

  3. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    December 10th, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    @Cheetah Glory: They should be able to build on their attacking skills that they showed in the CC this year.

    I have some expectations for this team next year, this is me hoping it is not just talk but that they can achieve it.

    They have the players to play that game.

  4. avatar DavidS says:
    December 10th, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    @Cheetah Glory:

    Geez you’re a doos…

    You cannot give any team that does not play like schoolboys on a festival game any credit for playing decent rugby…

    Who the f**k gives you the right to like some godlike figure decide this is “nice” rugby and this isn’t…?

    The Stormers are still one of the top teams historically in South Africa and are still one of the teams with the most loyal local support in South African rugby…

    Your opinion is like your excrement… everyone does it and only you think yours does not smell that bad… but it does…

  5. avatar Boertjie says:
    December 10th, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    Meantime Stormers are losing out on new blood
    coaches – Brendan Venter (lives in S-West) and
    they also let Gert Smal escape, not to even
    mention Jake White.
    Methinks there are ego’s involved that will
    eventually sink the team completely.
    I can see why Coetzee dit not become the Bok
    coach.

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