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Coetzee staying 'level-headed'

Tue, 26 Feb 2013 06:59
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One has to be level-headed
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Stormers coach Allister Coetzee is not about to wield a heavy axe, but he does feel the players need to take ownership of their performances.

Even with Springbok Peter Grant back from his stint in Japan, Coetzee is likely to persist with Lions import Elton Jantjies when the Stormers head to Durban for a Round Three Super Rugby encounter with the Sharks on Saturday.

However, there will be a change at fullback - where Joe Pietersen or Gio Aplon will come in for the injured Jaco Taute (a haematoma on his testicles).

Coetzee fiercely defended Jantjies, who had one of his worst games in many years at Loftus Versfeld last Friday - where he failed to land a single kick at goal, missed a number of tackles and made virtually no ground with the ball in hand.

"One has to be level-headed," Coetzee said, when asked if he was planning to make changes to the team.

"This is not the last game of the season, or before the semifinal or a Final - this was just the first game [of the season].

"I was aware we would not be  getting out the blocks at 90 miles an hour. I knew there were going to be mistakes and I think it is fair to give the players a chance to rectify those mistakes.

"The good thing is, should it happen after game two, we have the players to fall back on to."

Coetzee said he also wants to build a bit of continuity.

"It is not the end of the world," he said of the 17-25 reverse to the Bulls, adding: "Sometimes you will lose matches, it is just the way we lost it.

"You do get those days, that is why we have to give them an opportunities to get that right.

"I still maintain Elton did some good things in the game," he said of the Bok pivot, who did not feature in any of the pre-season outings after the recent death of his father.

"You can't judge him just on goal-kicking, it is just one part of the game.

"Joe [Pietersen] came on and did the job for us.

"However, Elton [Jantjies] is quite a good player, he is still a quality player - it is just that his goal-kicking wasn't good. I don't think Kurt Coleman is necessarily a 80 percent or 90 percent [kicker].

"I am still pleased with the other stuff he [Jantjies] did in the match."

Asked about the return of Peter Grant, who started training with the Stormers on Monday, Coetzee made it clear he is unlikely to feature this week.

"It is brilliant to have Peter back," the Stormers mentor said, adding: "It is his first week of training with us.

"We will see how it goes, because we have made a few changes to what he was accustomed to last year. We will see how Peter [Grant] settles in after training tomorrow [Tuesday]. I sure he is well and confident in his conditioning.

"Peter is in the Stormers squad and he is like any other player in the squad - there are some games he will be starting and some games he will play off the bench."

Coetzee Grant will be considered not just at flyhalf, but at centre as well.

He admitted he was unhappy with the loss to the Bulls.

"You will lose matches in this competition," he said adding that he was disappointed in the way they started the game at Loftus.

"We lost it in the first half - it is about building an innings and we couldn't build an innings, we couldn't get out of our half. The mistakes put us under pressure, we had to defend out ball and we had to defend their ball."

Coetzee said the problems are "definitely fixable".

"We have been frank open and honest," he said of their weekly team review, adding: "Players need to take ownership.

"We will have to make sure we pitch [up] with the necessary desire that is required at this level.

"We have to play the game and think on your feet and that was a big discussion today [Monday].

"I am really looking for a better response from the team, that is senior players included - it was a good, open and frank discussion to ensure the attitude changes."

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