Stormers were smarter on defence says Treu

Mon, 22 May 2017 17:34

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Stormers defence coach Paul Treu said his team's recent experiences on tour in New Zealand has helped them improve their defence.

The Cape side conceded 24 tries in defeats to the Crusaders (24-57), Highlanders (14-57) and Hurricanes (22-41). 

However, in their 30-22 win against the Blues last weekend at Newlands, the Stormers only conceded three tries throughout the 80 minutes thanks to an effective rush defence which stifled the visitors' dangerous ball runners. 

"We learnt a lot of lessons [on tour]," Treu told reporters at his team's base in Bellville.

"The mistakes that we learnt was that we didn't apply the pressure [on defence] like we did in the first couple of games.

"We were sitting back on the line and we just allowed them to play. When you up against NZ teams, with Beauden Barrett and those guys, they are going to exploit that space very quickly.

"We are constantly working on it [defence] from week to week to make sure that every player that comes in is on the same page. 

"You've seen against the Hurricanes with the kicking space they exploit and we have to make sure we cover that. We are making sure that the wings in the back three are working together as a unit. We are making sure that there is synergy between the forwards and the backs."

Treu admits that their improved performance against the Blues was just a start and that they still have some way to go in trying to perfect their craft.

"When [Robbie] Fleck took over last year it was a process and it is still a process. It [defence] is still not the perfect product - we are going to make a lot of mistakes. 

"This is the path we decided to embark on and probably this coming weekend and for the other games as well we are still going to make a lot of mistakes. 

"I don't think we can go back to where we were when we make 250 tackles and not produce any turnovers or apply any pressure. 

"This is something we as a coaching team keep talking about and we keep driving it as a coaching staff and there is buy-in from the players," Treu added.

Meanwhile, flyhalf Kurt Coleman is available for selection ahead of their trip to Durban to face the Sharks

It is good news for the Stormers in terms of depth as they have struggled with injuries at No.10 this season. Dillyn Leyds, who normally plays in the back three, wore the No.10 jersey against the Blues last weekend and is likely to feature there again at Kings Park.

By Warren Fortune
@FortuneWarren
@rugby365com

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