Chiefs need to tighten up

Sun, 09 Apr 2017 03:38
Large aaron cruden chiefs tackled 800

SUPER RUGBY REACTION: A crucial try on the stroke of half-time handed the Stormers' momentum and allowed them to play risk-free in the second half. Tauriq Ebrahim reports.

In what has been described as "a hell of a spectacle" by Chiefs coach Dave Rennie, the Stormers claimed an impressive 34-26 victory over the Chiefs at Newlands and captain Aaron Cruden believes a key moment came when the Stormers dotted down on the stroke of half-time.

"The Stormers gained some confidence in the back end of the first half and that flowed into the second half which allowed them to play risk-free. A prime example of that was the Dillyn Leyds offload. That was great skill by Dillyn.

"I was chasing back and saw him throw it out the back door and hit his fullback on the chest, I just thought 'Wow' - sometimes you have those sort of moments on a field. That [remaining switched on just before half-time] is something we have to review to make sure that we tighten up during those periods," Cruden said.

Rennie believes his charges got their game-plan wrong, in the sense that they thought they could put the Stormers to the sword in the closing 20 minutes and credited the home side for the character they showed on defence.

"We always felt that with 20 minutes to go, we could run them off their feet but they scrambled really well and worked hard for each other. There is clearly a lot of character within their group and that probably played a big part.

"I thought the Stormers were excellent and they put us under pressure and profited around the fringe, scored a couple of tries there and they certainly played their part in a free-flowing game - I thought we did too.

"We got starved of the pill but scored some great tries. We had a lot of line breaks in the second half that we couldn't convert but it certainly wasn't a lack of effort. In the end, the Stormers were too good tonight.

"The big thing is that they won the battle of body height. When they carried [the ball], they got under us a lot - especially in the fringes. They were stronger than us in that facet of the game. I reckon they learnt a lot from last year [when the Chiefs claimed an emphatic 60-21 quarter-final victory]," Rennie said.

Cruden added that while they are obviously disappointed, they will look back at the game in a few days as fans of the sport and not be as disappointed simply due to the quality of rugby that was on show.

"It was certainly high tempo and I think that's what both teams wanted. We had beautiful conditions, there was a bit of sweat on the ball, and that probably contributed to a few handling mistakes from both sides but it was a great spectacle. 

"While the boys are pretty disappointed, I think we will reflect on it in a few days and look back at the highlights as a fan of rugby and not be as disappointed now as a player," he stated.

By Tauriq Ebrahim
@Tauriq365
@rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
Fri, 22 December 2017
Wasps v Gloucester 22h00 Ricoh Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Harlequins 22h00 Kingston Park
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 22h00 Franklin's Gardens
Leicester Tigers v Saracens 22h00 Welford Road
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 22h00 Sixways
Sale Sharks v Bath 22h00 AJ Bell Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
SUPER RUGBY
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Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
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Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28