Stormers aim to start strong

Thu, 07 Feb 2013 15:08
Large francoishougaardstormerspink2 Large jppietersenstormers Large petergrantchiefs

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee says it is imperative that his side get off to a good start if they are to break their Super Rugby drought this year.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee says it is imperative that his side get off to a good start if they are to break their Super Rugby drought this year.

The Cape franchise have an unenviable draw to launch their title surge this season beginning with a tough away fixture against arch-rivals the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on February 22.

The following week they play the Sharks in Durban in a crucial South African conference clash before they host the defending champion Chiefs in their first home game of the season seven days later.

The Stormers made the most of their draw last year and got their campaign off to a perfect start with home wins over the Hurricanes and the Sharks before their first bye in Round Three.

Their task is substantially more challenging this year but Coetzee said it is vital that his charges emulate their fast start of 2012 to position  themselves well for the remainder of the season.

“The big thing is to start well. You don’t want to get on the back foot and lose a couple of games on the trot,” Coetzee said.

“We’re aware that our opening game is a big one away from home and it’s going to be a tough one but everything we do, including Saturday’s game against Boland, is aimed at getting it right on the 22nd.”

Coetzee said the second challenge is play consistently well and to ensure there is constant improvement throughout the season.

“It’s a long competition. We’ve seen teams who were never in the running and still made the play-offs and teams who started strong but come the play-offs were finished,” he said.

“It’s a matter of building an upward curve and making sure the graph picks up every time we play.

“Although we’re playing top quality sides, it’s important that we tick off certain things like our workrate and our physicality.”

Coaches got their first taste of what to expect from the extended 15-team campaign last year and accordingly to Coetzee, the greatest lesson learned was the importance of depth and competent man management.

“Depth is vital, that’s why we try to grow a bigger squad. It’s important to play your best players at the back end of the competition and have your strongest side possible to play in play-offs,” Coetzee said.

“With the quality [of players] we have I think we can do that and use rotation effectively. You can’t rotate if you don’t have the experience and class in your depth.

“When Schalla [Schalk Burger] comes back we will have a good combination of loose forwards. Siya [Kolisi] can play six and seven, Rynhardt [Elstadt] can play seven or four, Duane [Vermeulen] can even play four and six and he’s a good seven, so that’s the kind of versatility we’re looking for in our squad system.

“You never win a competition with just a certain number of players alone, you have to tap into your depth.”

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 09 October 2015
Western Province v EP Kings 16h00 Newlands
Pumas v Blue Bulls 16h00 Mbombela Stadium
New Zealand v Tonga 19h00 Newcastle
Sat, 10 October 2015
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 12h00 Bloemfontein
Samoa v Scotland 13h30 Newcastle
Golden Lions v Griquas 14h00 Ellis Park
Australia v Wales 15h45 London
England v Uruguay 19h00 Manchester
Sun, 11 October 2015
Argentina v Namibia 11h00 Leicester
Italy v Romania 13h30 Exeter
France v Ireland 15h45 Cardiff
United States v Japan 19h00 Gloucester
Wed, 07 October 2015
Namibia v Georgia 16 | 17
South Africa v United States 64 | 0
Tue, 06 October 2015
Fiji v Uruguay 47 | 15
Canada v Romania 15 | 17
Sun, 04 October 2015
Ireland v Italy 16 | 9
Argentina v Tonga 45 | 16
Zebre v Scarlets 8 | 20
Sat, 03 October 2015
England v Australia 13 | 33
Connacht v Cardiff Blues 36 | 31
South Africa v Scotland 34 | 16
Samoa v Japan 5 | 26
Leinster v Dragons 37 | 13
Griquas v Sharks 20 | 45
Pumas v Free State Cheetahs 37 | 37
Fri, 02 October 2015
New Zealand v Georgia 43 | 10
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Force 16 3 0 13 19
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 0 2 66
Highlanders 16 11 0 5 53
Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
Crusaders 16 9 0 7 46
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 16 10 1 5 45
Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26