How Stormers can 'break down' Bulls

Tue, 09 Jul 2013 19:50
Large matthew proudfoot stormers Large matthew proudfoot   alliste Large stormers hudle

Matching the Bulls physically is important, but there are other ways of achieving success against Super Rugby's pacesetters.

Matching the Bulls physically is important, but there are other ways of achieving success against Super Rugby's pacesetters.

While the Stormers have had success in the past by brutally beating up the Bulls, they will look to break down the Pretoria outfit in a different manner when the sides meet at Newlands on Saturday.

There are vastly different goals for the two outfits.

The Bulls are chasing a win that will see them finish top of the Super Rugby table for the first time since their back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010. The Stormers, who have already lost the South African conference trophy to their arch rivals, will be determined to salvage some pride from a bitterly disappointing campaign.

And the Cape Town outfit hope to spoil the Bulls' party by getting the better of them at the breakdown.

Stormers forwards coach Matthew Proudfoot, speaking to this website ahead of the big north-south derby, admitted that physicality will play a role.

However, he said the reason for their four-match winning streak has been their improved breakdown play.

"Since we have returned from [the Australasian] tour [in mid-May] we have put a lot of work into our breakdown," Proudfoot said of their wins for the Reds, Cheetahs and Kings (twice).

"We have really been trying to speed it [the breakdown play] up, given the structured defence that teams are employing.

"Teams, like the Kings, Cheetahs and Bulls all have a fantastic defence," Proudfoot said, adding: "We are trying to speed up our breakdown, so we can get quicker ball - that is something we have been looking to improve upon."

He said they have also focussed on getting more accuracy in each department.

"The [Stormers] coaches have focussed heavily on the aspects in each department that needed work," the Cape outfit's forwards coach said.

"If you want to compete with the teams that are No.1, No.2 and No.3 in the competition all the departments of your game have to be spot on - we have focussed on improving our accuracy."

Proudfoot said there will not be any charity from the Stormers towards the Bulls, even though a win by the visitors on Saturday will be of to the benefit to South African rugby.

"What is indicative of the South African conference is the intensity of the games," he said, adding: "No game is ever meaningless.

"You can look at all the South African games in the last few weeks, they have all been very heavily contested and no one game was 'just another match'.

"There is still a lot of pride at stake, irrespective of what the points table holds for the different SA teams."

Proudfoot said accuracy will be vital on Saturday, as the Bulls can punish your mistakes.

"We are playing the No.1 team in the competition and they are not there by fluke, they are there because they have been playing the most consistent rugby through the tournament.

"The consistency of your execution of the set phases, of the defence, of the break-down and of the kicking game have to be spot on.

"Then, also, the physicality challenge they do bring, when they look to pressurise you and force you into errors, that is the other crucial factor.

"If you marry those two factors together, then you'll be able to compete with them. If one of those factors falters you, you will be in a very poor position."

By Jan de Koning

There are currently no matches being played
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
Fri, 03 March 2017
Chiefs v Blues 06h35 Hamilton
Edinburgh v Ospreys 19h35 Myreside
Connacht v Zebre 19h35 Ascoli Piceno
Ulster v Treviso 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 20h15 AJ Bell Stadium
Sat, 04 March 2017
Hurricanes v Rebels 04h15 Wellington
Highlanders v Crusaders 06h45 Dunedin
Brumbies v Sharks 08h45 Canberra
Sunwolves v Kings 10h55 Singapore
Lions v Waratahs 13h05 Johannesburg
Worcester Warriors v Bristol 15h00 Sixways
Glasgow Warriors v Dragons 15h00 Scotstoun Stadium
Bath v Wasps 15h00 Recreation Ground
Gloucester v Harlequins 15h00 Kingsholm
Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs 15h00 Welford Road
Stormers v Jaguares 15h15 Cape Town
Cardiff Blues v Munster 17h15 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cheetahs v Bulls 17h30 Bloemfontein
Leinster v Scarlets 19h35 RDS Arena
Sun, 05 March 2017
Newcastle Falcons v Saracens 15h00 Kingston Park
Mon, 06 March 2017
UP-Tuks v CUT-Ixias 14h45 Pretoria
UKZN-Impi v UWC 16h30 Durban
WSU v CPUT 16h30 Mthatha
Fort Hare v TUT 16h30 Davidson Stadium
NMMU-Madibaz v UJ 16h30 Port Elizabeth
NWU-Pukke v Wits 16h30 Potchefstroom
Shimlas v Maties 17h00 Bloemfontein
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 1 1 0 0 4
Reds 1 1 0 0 4
Brumbies 1 0 0 1 1
Force 1 0 0 1 1
Rebels 1 0 0 1 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 1 1 0 0 5
Blues 1 1 0 0 5
Chiefs 1 1 0 0 5
Crusaders 1 1 0 0 4
Highlanders 1 0 0 1 0
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 1 1 0 0 4
Cheetahs 1 0 0 1 1
Bulls 1 0 0 1 0
Sunwolves 1 0 0 1 0
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Jaguares 1 1 0 0 4
Lions 1 1 0 0 4
Sharks 1 0 0 1 1
Kings 1 0 0 1 0