Adapt or die for Stormers

Tue, 10 Dec 2013 10:49
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Stormers coach Allister Coetzee believes that his team need to adapt their game next year if they are to challenge for Super Rugby honours.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee believes that his team need to adapt their game next year if they are to challenge for Super Rugby honours.

Coetzee cites Western Province's Currie Cup Final loss to the Sharks as a harsh lesson that teams will not make the mistake of trying to 'engage' with his side.

The Stormers coach believes that his team's renowned defensive system means that the opposition are no longer willing to run at them and pointed to the kicking game the Sharks employed at Newlands as an example of what they will have to deal with week-in and week-out in Super Rugby next year.

He told this website: "Teams don't want to engage with us anymore which is what happened in the Currie Cup Final - the Sharks weren't prepared to run, they opted to kick so therefore your tactics have to change.

"Every game you lose you investigate and you pick up trends. We expected the Sharks to kick behind our wings in the corners; they kicked from middle ruck which was something different and someone who had an insight into the way we defend worked it out.

"On the day, I am not blaming any player, but it was difficult for the players to adjust to that but we have learned again from that."

Coetzee said that this approach is something that teams such as the Crusaders and Reds have used against them in the past, and added that the challenge is to adapt their gameplan accordingly.

"The big thing is not engaging with the Stormers, when we played the Crusaders this year it took us ten minutes to understand that they were not prepared to run.

"Teams respect our defence so much, so we have to look at opportunities and be able to utilise the position we are in," he said.

The Stormers boss said that he was encouraged by the way his team attacked in the Currie Cup, which is something he hopes to carry forward into Super Rugby next year.

"What we have always been striving to do is ensure we have balance in the way we play. I think we progressed in the Currie Cup in terms of our attack and the way we utilised turnover possession and counter-attacking opportunities.

"In the past we might have been conservative and defence-orientated, but one has got to understand that was done because that is how the competition goes and to put the odds in your favour you can't do something else.

"Now we also see that there are other opportunities, that is the important thing for us next year - we have got to get the balance.

"Certain things worked in the Currie Cup and we will certainly take that into Super Rugby without deviating from our strong defence and strong kicking game," he said.

By Michael de Vries

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Fri, 09 October 2015
Western Province v EP Kings 16h00 Newlands
Pumas v Blue Bulls 16h00 Mbombela Stadium
New Zealand v Tonga 19h00 Newcastle
Sat, 10 October 2015
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 12h00 Bloemfontein
Samoa v Scotland 13h30 Newcastle
Golden Lions v Griquas 14h00 Ellis Park
Australia v Wales 15h45 London
England v Uruguay 19h00 Manchester
Sun, 11 October 2015
Argentina v Namibia 11h00 Leicester
Italy v Romania 13h30 Exeter
France v Ireland 15h45 Cardiff
United States v Japan 19h00 Gloucester
Wed, 07 October 2015
Namibia v Georgia 16 | 17
South Africa v United States 64 | 0
Tue, 06 October 2015
Fiji v Uruguay 47 | 15
Canada v Romania 15 | 17
Sun, 04 October 2015
Ireland v Italy 16 | 9
Argentina v Tonga 45 | 16
Zebre v Scarlets 8 | 20
Sat, 03 October 2015
England v Australia 13 | 33
Connacht v Cardiff Blues 36 | 31
South Africa v Scotland 34 | 16
Samoa v Japan 5 | 26
Leinster v Dragons 37 | 13
Griquas v Sharks 20 | 45
Pumas v Free State Cheetahs 37 | 37
Fri, 02 October 2015
New Zealand v Georgia 43 | 10
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