We have to be 40 percent better
The Stormers will have to click into a higher gear if they are to make it two from two on New Zealand soil with a win over the Blues in Albany on Friday.
This is the view of Stormers coach Allister Coetzee, who said his team undone their hard work and let themselves down with ball in hand in the 18-16 victory over the Hurricanes in Palmerston North last Friday.
“Continuity on attack was a problem against the Hurricanes,” Coetzee said on Monday.
“We work hard to turn the ball over but I want us to go up another level once we have the ball and keep the ball until we put the opposition under pressure and turn that pressure into points. That has been the key focus for us this week.
“We have to be 40 percent better. Again, what we do when we turn the ball over is the key. How we utilise our turnover possession, how we’re going to hold on to it and switch from defence to attack.”
The Blues dominated possession against the Reds but left Brisbane with a solitary losing bonus point with Wallaby playmaker Quade Cooper kicking four penalties to hand the home side a 12-11 win.
Coetzee acknowledged that the Stormers’ much-vaunted defence will face a stern test in accuracy and resilience.
“This is a very good Blues side that we are playing this weekend. Once they settle into a rhythm they are difficult to stop, therefore, we have to be at our best defensively,” said Coetzee.
“They are one of the three sides that kick the least in the competition, so defensively we have got to be up for this game both mentally and physically.
“The Reds made over 207 tackles in that game, so you can brace for making a lot of tackles because the Blues hold on to the ball, they got great continuity going and with outside backs that have got all the running skills, they pose a definite threat.”
Coetzee was pleased with his side’s set-piece against the Hurricanes and said he expected another physical battle against New Zealand opposition.
“The word that comes up first is physicality and dominating the collisions. That’s how you beat any New Zealand side, when you are on top in the physicality department and the collisions,” he said.
“You’ve got to have a good set-piece in this competition and we really function well when the set-piece function well, so I’m hoping we can maintain that standard.
“We want to make sure all aspects function equally well. You don’t want to have a good line-out and not a good scrum or vice versa because it integrates.”
Coetzee added that he was undecided over whether fit again Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies would start on Friday but said he was satisfied with incumbent Gary van Aswegen’s form in the No.10 jersey.
“Gary has been steady. He has done well defensively and he’s been kicking out of hand really well. He’s made good decisions as well, so one has got to look at where the pressure will come from the Blues but at this point in time Gary is doing the job for us,” he said.