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."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10