Jean de Villiers has revealed that he kept his team playing with ball-in-hand all the way to the end of game against the Lions, despite the coaches advice.
The Stormers captain was thinking what was best for the team going forward when he decided not to play defensively or resort to a tactical kicking game in the last 15 minutes of the Stormers 18-3 victory over the Lions.
The coaches box sent calls down to the field that the end of the game should be carefully managed and played down in opposition territory in order to hold out for the much needed win.
The Stormers have been suffering from a lack of confidence and it was De Villiers desire to get his team comfortable with the ball again – even though they rounded out the second half with zero points.
De Villiers has said, even though he made the call to continue attacking the Lions with a 15 point lead, it was not something that would have been wise in all situations.
The 15 point gap was the primary reason for De Villiers decision to defy his coaches orders, but he has admitted that, in terms of game management, it was detrimental – but in terms of turning the corner for the Stormers, it was vital.
“I think our approach was definitely to keep on playing, to our own detriment, in the second half,” De Villiers said.
“We probably played too much rugby in our own half in that second half and didn’t manage to play enough rugby in their half.
“The calls came from the coaching box that we should try and play more of a kicking game in their half for the last 15 minutes or so.
“I sort of over ruled that in a way – I thought that we should go with this approach so we sort of continued with it.
“In a tighter game I wouldn’t have done it but just with the attitude towards this game I though we should continue with ball in hand.
“[We should] try and get the confidence back and I don’t think we will get the confidence back by just sitting down and playing a conservative game.
“From a game management point of view, probably not the right call but I thought from where we are as a team it was the right call.”
De Villiers, although happy with his teams performance and intensity was quick to echo coach Allister Coetzees words on discipline
The coach was straight forward in stating his teams discipline was not good enough and they were lucky to get away with not conceding more from their indiscretions.
“I am not happy with the discipline in general to be honest,” Coetzee said.
“At times, for some of it, we were 100 per cent spot on but obviously the 50-50 stuff I would want to have a look at that.
“Jean [De Villiers] can elaborate on that but there are things that are inexcusable – like off the ball stuff, and we cant afford to have that.
“We were just lucky that tonight, because we had such good intensity and such good clarity in terms of what we want to do, we scored two tries with 14 men – it shows that the team was really on the same page tonight.”
The captain backed up what his coach had to say: “I have to agree with Allister [Coetzee], I don’t think our discipline is good enough.
“It is some thing we need to improve on – when you have got an 18 and 15 point buffer then you can still get away with it but that has been the cause of a lot of our losses this season.
“It is not improving so it is definitely an area we need to look at,” concluded De Villiers
By Darryn Pollock