Stormers up against 'All Black pack' in Christchurch

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 10:11

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Stormers will be facing the tournament's best forward pack in Christchurch, according to the Cape side's assistant coach Paul Feeney.

The Stormers' opponents in Round Nine, the Crusaders, are the only unbeaten team left in this year's Super Rugby tournament and Feeney knows that his side will have to be at their best up front if they are to record their first-ever win in Christchurch.

"Some of their starting forwards starts for the All Blacks," Feeney told reporters from New Zealand. "There is [Joe] Moody, [Owen] Franks, [Samuel] Whitelock, [Kieran] Read. Then you got [Wyatt] Crockett, [Luke] Romano, [Scott] Barrett, [Matt] Todd - they can put out an All Black forward pack easily, so that is what makes them dangerous. "

"They are very good at the set piece, they are very physical and they are very well-organised."

Feeney added: "In the backs. Richie Mo'unga has come of age and he's got about three Super Rugby campaigns under his belt. Ryan Crotty in the midfield is rock solid...so they got a good group of players across the park, but it all starts with their forward pack. 

"It is the best forward pack going around in Super Rugby, simple as that and that is what they lay their platform on."

After winning their first six games, the Stormers were outplayed in several areas in their 16-29 defeat to the Lions last weekend.

It was definitely not the result the Stormers would have wanted before their tough New Zealand tour, but Feeney believes it has helped them identify some of their problem areas.

"Scrums on our ball were nice and solid, but we had a couple of lapses in concentration on their ball," said Feeney. 

"At line-out time we lost a couple of balls as well. In that 12 minutes [after half-time] in their 22, we had a couple of line-outs and we had three scrums not far from their line and we were very close to getting over on three occasions. Whether it was the option taking by the backs out wide, our picking and going or not staying patient enough, we just could not quite finish them off. 

"It is the team's attack in general which we need to sharpen up a bit. We were not quite as good as were the week before against the Chiefs."

By Warren Fortune
@FortuneWarren
@rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
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
Pool NZ
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