Stormers given license to thrill
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee says they will look to play an expansive game against Boland at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee says they will look to play an expansive game in their second pre-season match against Boland at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.
Coetzee said on Wednesday that he expected a significant improvement from his charges following their 27-26 defeat to the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein last week and that while the last-gasp loss was disappointing, it was pleasing to start their match preparations on the road.
“We were disappointed in our workrate but it was important for us to play away from home because your difficult games will be away from home in Super Rugby,” said Coetzee.
“We could have done better in carrying to better positions and in terms of intensity. We were disappointed in the attitude and a lot of things we did on the field.
“Being that it was our first game, I want to see a big step us this week and the players realise that. We’ve worked hard this week to get everything right.”
Coetzee revealed that they will move away from their defensive-orientated approach this weekend in order to sharpen their attacking play.
“It’s a very important game this weekend. It’s not about who we play against but rather that we become accurate, use the ball and grow our attack,” he said.
“It’s important this weekend that we play more rugby. There will be opportunities to play more rugby. Our objective is to play more than usual, even in our own half. It will help with the match fitness, accuracy and the launch of our attack.”
Coetzee, who has included Jean de Villiers, Deon Fourie, Siya Kolisi, Rynhardt Elstadt and Andries Bekker in his starting line-up, said it’s vital for his key players to get time on the park.
“It’s important for Deon, Siya, Rynhardt and Andries to get game time. You can run as many training drills as you like but when it comes to playing it’s a different conditioning, so we want to get that part right.”
Coetzee said the returning De Villiers got a stinger in training but is 100 percent and will lead out the team against their franchise rivals while Eben Etzebeth, who got 60 minutes against the Cheetahs, will play another 60 minutes this weekend.
Duane Vermeulen, who captained the team in De Villiers’ absence last weekend, echoed Coetzee’s sentiments that the two-time South African conference winners have a lot of work to do before the start of the Super Rugby season.
“The rolling maul worked reasonably well but there’s a lot of work to be done. Our line-out functioned well. We kept it simple and it worked for us,” said Vermeulen.
“Defensively some of the guys were not sure of their roles but there’s enough time left to make sure everything is 100 percent.”
Vermeulen said he feels refreshed after an extended break following the Springboks’ end-of-year tour to Europe and admitted to have been caught off guard on the dry Free State Stadium pitch last weekend.
“I’m feeling great. The guys that played for the Boks had an extra two or three weeks off and that helped a lot. It was nice to become a Bok and at the end of last year to play on those fields was a learning curve,” he said.
“There are no slow fields in the southern hemisphere so it’s a case of having to adapt to the rugby here again and make that step up.”