It's about inches
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee believes the Cheetahs will target their line-outs in Saturday's Super Rugby derby in Bloemfontein.
Coetzee said the Cape side are gearing up for an assault at line-out time after the Crusaders dominated the set-piece en route to their 19-14 victory at Newlands last Saturday.
"The Crusaders really did their home work again. They put a lot of pressure on our line-out and marking Andries [Bekker] and we expect the same from the Cheetahs, but we learned valuable lessons from the experience," Coetzee said on Monday.
"The Cheetahs' line-out and defensive line-out has always been one of their strengths, they've got good systems, so it will be a big challenge for us, that's why our focus is on accuracy and execution."
Both Bekker and Deon Fourie have come under fire for the misfiring set-piece, Bekker for making a few questionable calls and Fourie for his wayward throw-ins.
Coetzee, however, refused to put the blame on either player, saying instead that the problems stemmed from a combination of errors, which they would need to rectify this weekend.
"It's about inches. A centimetre too high or too short and the opposition will capitalise," he said.
"We have to make sure we get the execution right, not just the throw-ins but the lifting and the movement as well. Everything has to be much sharper and that's what we're working on."
With the Cheetahs having an opportunity to claim a franchise record fifth consecutive victory on Saturday, Coetzee said they are expecting a fierce battle in Bloemfontein.
"We've always had a lot of respect for the Cheetahs and the way they play. They're playing with a lot of confidence and they're a good side. Whereas in the past they would lose the close games they're now winning the close games so we're well aware that it is going to be a tough derby," he said.
Coetzee added that the Cheetahs will provide a unique test for his team's defensive structures.
"Defensively it's going to be a different challenge altogether [compared to the Crusaders game]. The Cheetahs are very unpredictable, they play on instinct and they have a few players who are good instinctive players. So you have to make sure you cover your bases, got width on defence and cover the kicks," he explained.
Flyhalf Elton Jantjies has battled to find form at the Stormers and was replaced in the second half after another underwhelming performance at the weekend.
Coetzee admitted that the young Springbok No.10 hasn't been at his best since joining the franchise on loan from the Lions and said the Crusaders' forward dominance compounded matters.
"It was tough for Elton to build confidence because we hardly had any ball on attack but it's important for him to realise the importance of accuracy, as a 10 you have to be accurate."