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Coetzee's expansive plan kicks in

Wed, 13 Mar 2013 12:58
Allistercoetzeestormers
We are not compromising our defence
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Stormers Coach Allister Coetzee  believes his side is shifting the perceptions of the Stormers as a dour outfit after their 36-34 win against the Chiefs in Cape Town.

The Stormers had an incredibly tough start to the season, when they went down to former champions the Bulls and last years losing finalists the Sharks in consecutive weekends.

The Stormers then went back to the Cape determined to stick to their plans and not panic.

That is what they did and they managed to come out last Saturday and showed a certain amount of attacking flair against the defending champions - scoring three tries, although conceding four in the process.

"Our general attack was very positive, we really put ourselves in positions where we could have scored," Coetzee said at a media briefing at the team's base on Wednesday. .

He was refering to the two tries that eluded them towards the end of the first-half at Newlands last week.

For the Stormers, their game-plan has been based around their ability to kick  well and defend and although it seems there is a change of mind-set in Cape Town, Coetzee was still happy with how his side held out at the death.

"We were put under a hell of a lot of pressure in the last ten minutes and those guys upped the ante and they came at us hard but we survived that onslaught which was tough."

The character shown by the side during that onslaught from one of the most potent attacking units in the competition says volumes for where the Stormers are as a team despite two early losses.

Coetzee said: "We are not compromising our defence, but it is how the defence reacts from turn-over’s.

"This is where we are in our transition," Coetzee added.

The coach is aware that: "You cannot win the competition by kicking penalties."

So he has been, along with all the other coaching staff, shifting the focus slightly from their kick and defend mentality.

"In the past it was easy, we built our game-plan around a strong kicking game and a strong defence.

"Now if you want a balanced game, when you get the ball in the right areas of the field you want to attack so the defence must compliment the attack," Coetzee explained.

The importance of the set-piece is also something that Coetzee maintains and reiterates the value it has to his side.

"This team has always been good when we have executed at set-piece and that was the other positive if you looked at how we scrummed and the line-outs."

Looking forward to the fixture against the Brumbies in just over a week’s time, Coetzee  said he was well aware of where their strengths lie.

"The Brumbies are a tough team and are really doing their basics well and play their kicking game well.

"They are very physical at the break-down and have strong ball carriers and that is why they are doing well," he added.

The Stormers managed to get one over the defending champions coming off two straight losses which in itself is an impressive achievement but with the attentive Jake White and his Brumbies coming to town it will be another incredibly tough ask for the Cape outfit.

By Nick Tatham

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