'Expansive' Stormers a real threat

Tue, 11 Mar 2014 08:56
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Chiefs assistant coach Wayne Smith says the Stormers are more expansive in New Zealand and will pose his side a real threat.

Chiefs assistant coach Wayne Smith says the Stormers are more expansive in New Zealand and will pose his side a real threat.
Realising that the Stormers will still be frustrated from failing to beat the Crusaders when they had more than enough chances to do so, Smith is aware they will be throwing all they have at the defending champions in order to register a vital win on tour.  
"They deserved to win that game [against the Crusaders]. 
"They were really strong one-on-one, their defence was really good and their pack were very efficient with their rolling maul from lineouts.
"Flank Schalk Burger was absolutely outstanding for them. 
"One thing we have noticed when they come on tour to New Zealand, the Stormers get a bit more expansive and [move] away from that attritional style of game they play at home. 
"They have talented backs with Jean de Villiers, and Gio Aplon is dangerous and Damian de Allende looks really good at inside centre. 
"They offer a real threat to us," Smith told Sportal.
However, the Stormers have only scored three tries so far this season, with one apiece in their loss the the Lions (10-34), close win over the Hurricanes (19-18) and last week's reverse at the hands of the Crusaders (13-14), and are averaging just 14 points per game. 
Smith said while it was nice to be unbeaten after four rounds of Super Rugby, the exciting factor for the Chiefs was there was still plenty of room for improvement. 
They have beaten the Crusaders (18-10) and Highlanders (21-19) so far, and had their bye last weekend.  
"It's exciting because we have so much still to improve," Smith said as his side prepares for Friday's game. 
Among the aspects of play the Chiefs need to improve is their supply of ball from lineouts, and their overall ball retention. They have been putting themselves under pressure by not mastering these features while they also need better discipline. 
"We need a bigger share of the ball in order to create more attacking play," Smith said.  
The Chiefs are slowly moving towards having their full squad available for selection. At this stage it is only likely to be centre Bundee Aki and outside back Robbie Robinson who will not be available for the three-game tour to Australia and South Africa, while Robinson is looking unlikely to feature at all this season. 
Lock Brodie Retallick and prop Ben Afeaki, who were both out after their head clash in the opening game against the Crusaders, are likely to be available this week while utility backs Tom Marshall and Gareth Anscombe are close to being ready for action, as is flank Sam Cane.  
The numbers were up when they re-assembled on Monday and there was a 'pretty vibrant' air about the place, according to Smith.  
Smith is pleased with the character his side has showed to win their two matches so far, even when they were not at their best. 
The versatility the selectors have developed, in the backs especially, has proved its worth in light of the injury situation and Smith said while there were utility players in the side, each of them had the ability to play in specialist positions. 
He cited the example of Tim Nanai-Williams who could specialise at fullback, wing or centre, and he said having to use halfback Augustine Pulu on the wing in a pre-season game due to the injuries, had created another position covered should the situation arise. 
"If we hadn't selected like that we would have been in trouble [with injuries]," Smith said.  There is the extra advantage of competition being created for places in the side as a result.  
Smith said initial impressions of the 2014 Super Rugby season was that it was going to be a topsy-turvy affair and he wasn't buying into the scenario where early losses knocked teams out of play-offs chances.  
"We lost five early games in 1998 and came back and won it [with the Crusaders] so there is a chance the critics could end up with egg on their faces. It is going to be pretty tight," Smith added.  
There are currently no matches being played
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