Here comes the 'set-piece' Stormers

Sun, 21 Apr 2013 20:56
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Stormers coach Allister Coetzee admitted that defence and strong set-piece play remain the cornerstone of his team.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee admitted that defence and strong set-piece play remain the cornerstone of his team.

Speaking ahead of the Stormers' four-match Australasian tour, Coetzee said they are looking forward to the trip.

The 11th-placed Stormers start their tour when they face the Hurricanes in Palmerston North on Friday (April 26), followed by encounters with the Blues (in Albany), Waratahs (Sydney) and Rebels (Melbourne).

"We understand our responsibility, we understand our job and to get out of Cape Town is not a bad thing," he told a media scrum.

Despite suggestion that his team needs to change tact if they hope to turn their season around - they have won just three of their seven matches and have already had both their byes - he said they will not change course.

"This is a set-piece driven side and we need to win our set-pieces," Coetzee said.

He added that defence is still dominating games.

"If you want to play attacking rugby you can't play attacking rugby with slow ball so we have got to make sure we create our own quality quick ball and use it.

"South African teams have created a lot of opportunities, and that is one component of getting quick ball and the other is taking your opportunities and converting the opportunities into points.

"I think on attack, from our point of view, I have seen better patience last week against the Sharks - when we put them under pressure in their 22. We were unlucky at times.

"It is a combination, quick ball from rucks yes, but certain teams load the rucks and make it difficult for you to generate that quick ball. It also depends how you are allowed at the breakdown - how the ref officiates the breakdown and you have got to adapt.

"One thing on attack you have got to adapt, have the patience and use your opportunities, those are the three main components that we have been working on."

Coetzee feels the tour will also give the team time to gel more as a unit.

"The team honestly enjoyed touring, they are having good fun. There is time for everything, there is time for hard work and there is time to have a bit of fun.

"The diversity in this team makes it a nice thing to go overseas and experience other cultures. This is what the Stormers are - it is just a great bunch of players who enjoy each others' company."

Despite a lengthy injury list, Coetzee said the important thing is not to focus on the injured players.

"The core of players to get you through have got to understand the detail. They must understand the plan for the next game against the Hurricanes.

"[Eben] Etzebeth will be fit for the second game on tour and Elton Jantjies is about 60/40 for the first game, but will definitely be back for the second game. Rynhardt [Elstadt], Scarra [Siyabonga Ntubeni] and Bryan [Habana] are all 100 percent ready to start."

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Hurricanes v Highlanders 07h35 Wellington
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Blues v Crusaders 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Sunwolves 09h40 Canberra
Western Province v Griquas 10h15 Newlands
Blue Bulls v Leopards 12h15 Loftus Versfeld
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h00 DHL Newlands
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Golden Lions v EP Kings 13h00 Johannesburg
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Crusaders 11 9 0 2 41
Highlanders 11 8 0 3 37
Hurricanes 11 7 0 4 36
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Jaguares 11 2 0 9 13
Kings 11 1 0 10 4