Rugby

Coetzee: Lesson learnt

2012-02-06 10:18
Allister Coetzee (Gallo)

Gavin Rich - SuperSport

Cape Town - DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee reckons he got more out of the defeat to the Toyota Cheetahs than he did in his previous two pre-season games. By that he probably means he has learned things that he would rather not know.

Whereas the last time the Stormers under-strength team saw action in the first friendly against the Boland Cavaliers in Wellington there was a lot of positivity about the depth available, the 22-14 loss to the Super Rugby team told a different story. There are a lot of willing young players, and someone suggested the new theme tune for the Stormers should be “The Young Ones”, but how many of them are really ready for the step up?

Although there were only eight points in it at the end, the Stormers were well beaten by the Cheetahs. It was not the result that was disturbing though, rather the fact that there were very few players challenging for places in the first choice team that would have caused the incumbents to have sleepless nights.

This was a game where the outflow of mostly second tier players during the off-season was most apparent. Since last October, when the Currie Cup season ended, almost an entire team has either left the region, retired or been released from contract. If you don’t agree look at this list: Conrad Jantjes, JJ Engelbrecht, Jaque Fourie, Tim Whitehead, Johann Sadie, Lionel Cronje, Ricky Januarie, Pieter Louw, Francois Louw, Anton van Zyl, Adriaan Fondse, JD Moller, CJ van der Linde (since last Super Rugby season)…

There are several others, not all of them capable of playing Super Rugby, but several of them better and boasting more Super Rugby experience than the back-up players who are left.

One area that the Stormers definitely have a yawning gap is in the area of fetcher flank, where over the past two seasons they have not just lost Louw, but also Luke Watson (admittedly a No8 at the end). Perhaps it is unfair to judge this facet of the game when the team is up against that magician Heinrich Brussow, but nonetheless the Cheetahs were able to steal way too much Stormers ball at the breakdown.

Not that this is one of the areas that Coetzee says he is concerned about. He preferred instead to blame referee Craig Joubert’s understandable laxness at the breakdown (it was only a pre-season friendly after all).

“In this game certain guys got away with murder. Maybe they could have been penalised for slowing the ball down, being off-side, or not rolling away, so I am not too concerned as I know once Super Rugby starts the referees will be a lot stricter,” said Coetzee.

“It had nothing to do with not having an opensider on the field,” he added.

One thing in mitigation of the players that did not do so well against the Cheetahs is that several of them are only just coming off injury lay-offs. One of those was flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis, who apart from missing 50% of his kicks at goal did not have the assured allround game that we became accustomed to from him when he first burst onto the scene from Varsity Cup level in 2011.

“Demetri wasn’t considered for the Lions game last week because of a hamstring injury, so for a first game it wasn’t so bad – there were things he did well and things he did not do so well,” said Coetzee.

The coach felt some of the newcomers, such as lock Eben Etzebeth, had again done well, and Nizaam Carr continues to impress. However while some will rave about club player Ederies Arendse he looks short of the pace required to excel at this level and should not survive the cut when Coetzee separates his off-season training squad into Stormers and Vodacom Cup groups later on Monday.

Read more on:    super 15  |  allister coetzee
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
23 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
Vote

After their narrow defeat to the All Blacks in Wellington, the Springboks will be relishing their "return" clash at Ellis Park. Or will they... ? Who do you see winning in Johannesburg?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.