Stormers in for aerial assault
Mon, 17 Mar 2014 13:22
That's the big challenge, the physical intensity
Coach Allister Coetzee is preparing for a physical onslaught with loads of kicking as the Stormers prepare for the Brumbies on Saturday
The injury-ridden Stormers have another tough challenge ahead of them when they face a Brumbies side that continues to impress primarily due to their new-found physicality and their superior kicking game this season.
Both of these aspects Coetzee has already identified before his charges take on last years finalists at home in Canberra on Saturday.
It was another tough defeat last weekend for the men from Cape Town but coach Coetzee is adamant that the mood in the camp is positive and moral is high.
"We are still very positive about the campaign and the big thing is we have got to make sure that we turn it around this weekend.
"My message today to the players was that this game has got its ebbs and flows and sometimes it goes against you like it did the first half [against the Chiefs] then all of a sudden you get the momentum swing in your favour and that's the time you need to capitalise," said Coetzee.
The Stormers boss lamented not capitalising against the defending champions drawing comparisons with the Crusaders game a week earlier.
"I think that we had a big chance against the Crusaders and we let it slip, we had an opportunity there at 24-20 and hopefully we can learn from that.
"It was a completely different challenge that we faced against the Chiefs. They played damn well in testing us in the wider channels and asked different questions, we have just got to work it in terms of our defensive system, lessons learnt," he said.
Coetzee has clearly done his homework on the Brumbies and is preparing his team accordingly, he has pin-pointed their physicality and kicking game as their biggest strengths as well as the Stormers biggest hurdles to overcome.
"I think the big thing that is back with the Brumbies is the physicality, it was a massive physical game against the Waratahs [last weekend].
"Fortunately I could see the response at training today already, it's much better today than last week. It seems that the two-day break has done us the world of good.
"That's the big challenge, the physical intensity at which it will be played on Saturday night," Coetzee added.
Coetzee has a special insight into the Brumbies kicking game having coached the Canberra side's playmaker, Matt Toomua at Western Province in 2009.
"I think Matt [Toomua] has really done well, one thing he does is make himself felt in the game, especially in the physical stuff he tackles, whether it's late or not, he goes for the big impact defensively.
"He's also got a very good kicking boot on him and what has impressed me is his decision making at the moment - when to kick and when to play - so he is not scared to have a go himself," he said
Coetzee went on to speak of other players he has pinned as good kicking options for the Brumbies.
"They use Jesse Mogg's left foot and they use Nic White's big right boot and then Matt Toomua has a massive kicking game.
"They are very direct in runners off nine so that's why the physicality is massive this weekend.
"It's about our patience this weekend in terms of the kicking game. We will probably sit with a lot of ball just outside our 22 - our decision-making has got to be spot on," he said.
With more injuries plaguing the Stormers this week Coetzee has been forced into some selection changes for the backline. He will be hoping they are up to the task of dealing with the Brumbies' excellent kicking game.
"He's got to start [Sailosi Tagicakibau] there is no other winger so he will be on the left-wing then definitely. I am keen to see him from the start, he came on twice and i was quite excited by him in that that, he will be tested in terms of the kicking game.
"He could be a player with a bit of experience supporting Gio at the back.
"I must say Kobus probably didnt have his best game, but he is growing every game he is gaining experience and with Kobus [Van Wyk], Tagicakibau and Gio [Aplon] hopefully they can cope with that kicking game of the Brumbies," Coetzee concluded.
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