Stormers striking a balance

Tue, 26 Mar 2013 07:20
Large juan de jongh looks630 Large allistercoetzee2 Large jean de villiers   allister

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee feels his team is striking a balance between attack and defence ahead of Saturday's encounter against the Crusaders at Newlands.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee feels his team is striking a balance between attack and defence ahead of Saturday's encounter against the Crusaders at Newlands.
After losing their first two matches of the season on the road, the Stormers have managed consecutive home victories over the defending champion Chiefs and previously unbeaten Brumbies.

They scored seven tries in the two wins, including four against Jake White's Brumbies last weekend. Coetzee said he was pleased with the way his charges capitalised on the opportunities they created and that their attack is rapidly improving.   

"What's important is the players are starting to believe in the plan and in each other. What was important against the Brumbies is that we rounded off the opportunities we created," Coetzee said.  

"Gio's try came from turnover ball; our defence created opportunities on attack. It's not in isolation, the one is complimenting the other and that is coming through now."

Coetzee feels his team has developed momentum but warned that they would need to lift their game again against the seven-time champions, whom they last defeated in 2010.

The Stormers boss said the Crusaders remain a formidable side despite the absence of Richie McCaw (sabbatical), Dan Carter and Kieran Read (injury).  

"They are a team who have great systems and a good record against us. They are slow starters but they've won competitions from the position they are in now.

"They're a quality side, they're the team with the most All Blacks. They've got a great set-piece and an All Black tight five.

"They've clicked into a higher gear in recent weeks not just against the Kings but against the Bulls as well. It's not easy putting 40 points past the Bulls. They're a great defensive team as well so we have another big challenge ahead of us," he said.

Coetzee believes the key to the Crusaders' success against his team is the Christchurch side's tactical awareness and ability to adept their gameplan.

"They are tactically very sound. They know they are up against a good defensive wall so they got to put kicks behind us. In fact, they kicked more than us when we played them last year.

"They know where to play and they don't compromise at the set-piece - they've stepped up a lot in terms of their line-out play," he said.

Coetzee added it is crucial that his team deliver another strong performance on their home ground.

"This is Newlands and we want to make sure we don't get pushed around at Newlands. It's important that we don't take anything for granted and that we reproduce," said Coetzee.

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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