Reality bites for Stormers

Wed, 05 Mar 2014 20:29
Large allister coetzee gestures Large allister coetzee media Large allister coetzee hands up

The Stormers will enjoy a rare occasion of being the underdogs, but there is good reason for their status.

The Stormers will enjoy a rare occasion of being the underdogs, but there is good reason for their status.

It has not been a good start to their season - an embarrassing 10-34 loss to the Lions and a fortuitous 19-18 victory over a struggling Hurricanes outfit.

Now they are up against a Crusaders team determined to bounce back from their own horror start to the season - one of only two teams yet to collect any points - but with a distinct advantage over the visitors.

It is a game that will pit some of the current stars of the game - All Black supremo Kieran Read against Springbok hard man Duane Vermeulen.

However, rather than an opportunity for individuals to prove points, the game is about two teams determined to get back into the Super Rugby race.

"The reality is, we are 12th on the global standings, fifth [last] in our [South African] conference and we have never beaten the Crusaders in Christchurch," Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said in a teleconference call from Christchurch.

"A lot has been said about a tough tour," he said of a four-match trip that will see them face the Crusaders, Chiefs, Brumbies and Reds on consecutive weekends.

"However, we are just focussing on our processes and it is a massive opportunity for us as team to get it right."

While the Stormers had a near meltdown in the line-outs against the Hurricanes last week, Coetzee felt there are a lot of other facets that require attention.

"It is not just the line-out, but all facets of the game where they [the Crusaders] are a quality side," he said of a team features the 206-centimetre tall Dominic Bird.

"We will look to fix our line-outs and with De Kock [Steenkamp] there it will hopefully come right - the communication would be better.

"We are looking at the system and what suits him as a No.5 lock.

"It [line-out] is a platform you must get right, because you need to play off that and it is going to be important to us."

He said the absence of the injured All Black captain Richie McCaw, fractured thumb, would not detract from the threats posed by the home team.

"These guys have beaten us in the past without Richie [McCaw]," the Stormers coach said, adding: "They have experienced players who have stood in, with success, for Richie in the past.

"He [McCaw] has a massive influence as a leader, but [No.8] Kieran Read has done exceptionally well.

"We are [in a] similar [position] with Rynhardt [Elstadt]," he said of the injured utility forward who has been sent home from New Zealand because of a shoulder injury.

"We know what value he brings to the [Stormers] team.

"Richie [McCaw] may be a blow to them, but I am sure the guy standing in will want to take his opportunity."

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Connacht v Edinburgh 22h00 Sportsground
Munster v Scarlets 22h00 Thomond Park
Dragons v Cheetahs 22h00 Rodney Parade
Ospreys v Leinster 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 22h00 Scotstoun
Kings v Treviso 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Fri, 16 March 2018
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
Jaguares v Waratahs 38 | 28
France v England 22 | 16
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 4 3 0 1 15
Waratahs 4 2 1 1 10
Reds 3 2 0 1 8
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 8
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Highlanders 3 3 0 0 13
Hurricanes 3 2 0 1 10
Crusaders 4 2 0 2 10
Chiefs 3 2 0 1 8
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Stormers 5 2 0 3 9
Sharks 4 1 1 4 9
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4