Burger: It was a bad call

2011-05-09 08:35

Stephen Nell

Cape Town – Stormers captain Schalk Burger has admitted it was a “bad call” to launch a succession of rolling mauls when Lionel Cronjé’s kicking boot could have done the talking in the latter stages of Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby match against the Crusaders at Newlands.

Wyatt Crockett’s second converted try in the 63rd minute gave the visitors a 20-14 lead. It was also the final score.

The Stormers had an opportunity to kick for goal in the 67th minute, but rather went for touch and launched the first of three rolling mauls. They lost the ball with the third one and the Crusaders could relieve the pressure.

While the Crusaders were penalised twice before that, the question is why Cronjé was not simply asked to kick at posts.

Even if the Stormers had managed to score a try, there was no guarantee that the conversion would be over for them to win the game 21-20.

“Hindsight is always an exact science. I thought we had the Crusaders under the cosh,” said Burger.

“We could not get the points and later got more opportunities. It’s always difficult. It’s a decision made on the gut feel of the senior players.

“If you take the three points, they kick off again and you may well be back in your 22. The decision would have been a good one had we scored a try, but in the end it was a bad call.”

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee also does not believe it was a mistake to send on numerous substitutes late in the game.

The first permanent replacement was Brok Harris for the injured CJ van der Linde in the 49th minute. Thereafter De Kock Steenkamp was sent on in place of Rynhardt Elstadt to offer fresh legs on the hour mark.

Juan de Jongh, Ricky Januarie, Tiaan Liebenberg, Nick Koster and Kurt Coleman were then all sent on inside a minute. Coleman’s introduction was forced by an injury to Jaque Fourie.

All the substitutions may well have impacted negatively on the Stormers’ rhythm.

“That is why the substitutes are there. It was never going to be an effort by only 15 players. It needed all 22 of them. We needed the fresh legs and energy. You could see the guys that were sent on were full of energy, but in the end you have to be able to keep possession,” said Coetzee.

“We were our own worst enemy. We made mistakes, lost possession in the lineouts and there were balls that weren’t kicked out. At least we know we can put it right.”

The one big positive was the performance of rookie right wing Johann Sadie in his first run-on start.

“Sadie vindicated his selection. He’s still learning and got tired towards the end, but his performance was good,” said Coetzee.

“Matthew Berquist (flyhalf) was the Crusaders’ unsung hero. People spoke about Sonny Bill Williams and Robbie Fruean before the game, but Berquist provided leadership and won the game for them.

“We have to accept the defeat and take it on the chin. We were beaten by a better team on the night. They used their chances and we wasted ours with unnecessary mistakes.”


  • Met Uysh! - 2011-05-09 08:43

    This is a silly point and it contradicts itself! "...there was no guarantee that the conversion would be over for them to win the game 21-20." Just so there as NO guarantee that Lionel would have taken the three points which would then have ended up in the same result!!! The Stormers made the right call under the circumstances. The Crusaders were crushed in the rolling maul and the second collapse should have been a yellow card. It was not but the Stormers did the same and the didn't execute it the same and lost the ball. It happens, but it could just as easily have resulted in a try, yellow card or penalty try if the same happened as in the previous two. I didn't watch the replay but the likelyhood was that the Crusaders got away illegally again. Anyways, as Schulk says, hindsight is 20/20 so had they in fact scored the try this issue would have been closed. Had he chosen the kick iso the lineout and Lionel missed, they would have said Lionel was kicking average and they should have gone for the try. Typical.

      MaestroX - 2011-05-09 08:51

      I guess so, I thought he should have gone for posts but Cronje as you siad isnt the best kicker and could well have missed, but then we would still have been in their 22. Anyhow, I think had he made the kick, the best we could have gotten out of it was another later and secured a draw. We wanted the win and against a weaker Saders team you might be right and maybe it was the right decision.

      Met Uysh! - 2011-05-09 09:07

      @Maestro. We would have been in ther 22 but they were most likely to kick it in deep into our own half again. We had not had much opportunity to score tries in the second half and I thought it best to go for the try while we are there because there is no guarantee they would get back there again. Either way, there is no guarantees in Rugby and you have to do the best you can.

      BCC - 2011-05-09 09:18

      whinge, whine, bleat and moan. Stormers beaten by a better side, end of story.

      Vitorc - 2011-05-09 12:26

      The Stormers success story so far have been to play in the opponents half and then make points by penalty when the opponents infringe. The moment they stopped to make points that way in minute 67 it was over, really.

  • MaestroX - 2011-05-09 08:47

    Didn't this happen last year as well, am sure Schalk made a very stupid decision last year that cost us a game too, might even have been in one of the two finals. Anyhow, I have to agree with 13 minutes it would definately have been a better call, even if it meant having a crack at the poles later to draw the game.

      GHT - 2011-05-09 08:57

      Ja it did a couple of times (CC final comes to mind). Go for posts! There were more than enough time (15 minutes) to restart the attack and eliminate the 3 piont deficit.

  • Skubbe - 2011-05-09 08:55

    It was a good decision. Three points would still have meant that we had to score a try to win the game. Only it would have been harder as the kick-off would have landed back in our 22 again. Nobody wants to play for a draw!

      Stryder - 2011-05-09 09:30

      Agreed, even if the conversion was missed, it would have been easier to try and set up a drop goal than to go for a try.

  • Rampage15 - 2011-05-09 09:00

    It's all good. Now the real test is how we pick ourselves up for the next game. I was proud of the boys they played yes we made mistakes. U win some and u lose some bt what I know I AM A STORMERS through thick and thin. Bring on the Chiefs.

  • RobinHood - 2011-05-09 09:03

    Same bad decision-making as in the CC final - it cost us then, it cost us Saturday. I am afraid that the captain is not fit to lead.

  • thumper - 2011-05-09 09:10

    In the match situation I think it was the right decision. They had the Crusaders back peddling and if the ref did his job their should have been a yellow card much earlier and even a possible penalty try. But nobody wants to win with a penalty try so I'm glad that didn't happen. The flood of substitutions was a tactical error in my view. It robbed the Stormers of their fluidity and their attack lost structure. The tour away from the fanatical support is just what the Stormers need at this stage. I'm hoping for at least 3 out of 4.

  • Alibaba - 2011-05-09 09:18

    This Matthew Berquist is becoming a candidate to make the AB team for the RWC - he is a more than able substitute for Poster Boy - but maybe the girls will not like him as much!!!

      BCC - 2011-05-09 09:26

      Thats the difference between NZ rugby and SA rugby. He would stroll into a SA side but he is somewhere around 8th or 9th in line for a NZ team.

      Crusader Man - 2011-05-09 09:57

      HE'S not that good. Made stupid options when Crusaders were hot on attack with silly little chip kicks. Couple of times Crusaders had the numbers and field position. Been doing that for the last month.. Carter is streets ahead of him. Comment for all you guys talking about the penalty kicks etc... Stormers shouldn't even have been camped 10 metres out from the Crusaders line. Really Ref made some odd calls during the game and the quick throw in that the Crusaders did was called forward.. Really they replayed it in NZ.. The game is always full of what ifs.. Thats life.. Stormers could have kicked a penalty and the Crusaders might have scored 2 more tries... Looking forward to the Bulls/Sharks games.. Want to see if Bulls can win those games.. If they do i will pick them to win your conference.. Sharks tend not to win the games against the big guns. Gonna be real interesting if Stormers only win half there away games.

  • Patriot - 2011-05-09 09:26

    Requirement for living in the Cape and supporting the Crusaders/All Blacks = no front teeth!!!

      Shistirrer - 2011-05-09 09:51

      Does that mean Lloyd has no front teeth?

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-05-09 10:47

      Lloyds teeth aren't only thing missing from his anatomy. The way I'm reading it, is that Lloyd has no b@lls, and nothing of substance in the wind tunnel above his neck either. Half man - half......well, man.

  • Greegs - 2011-05-09 09:27

    They shpuld have taken the penalty....end of story!

  • Jp - 2011-05-09 09:31

    the worst calls where from a New Zealand ref who did not like a quick throw by the Crusaders only when it was intercepted and when he missed a forward pass for the Crusaders first try - not that i'm bitching much the 'saders played a decent game, bettter team lost

      BCC - 2011-05-09 09:39

      See above, whinge, whine, bleat and moan. Best side won, lucky it wasn't more.

      Kaapie - 2011-05-09 09:58

      That may have been the case. But when one looks at the situation, what freaks me is when Schalla says the introduction of substitutes caused disruption, what must the crusaders have to say about their disruptions to their team, so that argument doesnt hold. What they need to look at is the missed tackles by JDV in particular, the way Schalla plays the game, recklessly and with no brains, It is all very looking like you playing well, but the way he clattered into his own player about to make a tackle on Crockett, who then went on to score is quite ridiculous. The continued use of CJ who it appears cannot scrum properly.. On the day the better team won. Saders made the most o their opportunities and the stormers didnt.

      RobinHood - 2011-05-09 09:59

      why was the throw-in not allowed? I missed that bit

      gooinat - 2011-05-09 10:04

      @Robin,apperently the same ball was not used,therefore they could not take the quick throw in:(

      Crusader Man - 2011-05-09 10:10

      @JP also called Crusaders up for quick throw in that was not straight 5 metres from there line with bout ten to go to that was straight too. Crusaders were fairly lucky to win.. Not cos of the Ref tho.. Cos of Injuries.. Didn't give them much chance at half time.. Really thought the Stormers were very average. Your centre Fourie was fantastic. He looked dangerous with ball in hand.. As did SBW. For all those doubters of SBW don't forget this is his first year of super rugby. Its a huge step up from ITM domestic competition. So far the bigger the challenge the better he gets. he is the real deal.. No one player will ever win you games every time they play.. But SBW does create opportunities everytime i have seen him play. His defence is getting better also. Doesn't just stand and watch. He goes looking to tackle. Once they get rid of his league habbits he will be a fantastic defender cos he isn't scared to tackle.

      Crusader Man - 2011-05-09 10:21

      @JP also with ref to your whine about the NZ ref. I quite clearly heard him ask the touch judge if he was happy with the try and it was him that said that the ball used was a different one. touchie was a SA judge.. Really is that all that you have to go on... They lost get over it.. Gee i never grizzled when the Crusaders lost to the Highlanders.. When they rested there star players.. Highlanders also rested players and they won on the day.. Wouldn't have been upset if you guys won on the day either.. Its just a game. Seen the AB's lose a RWC game against France when there were dubious decisions but thats life. Its ok to be dissapointed. But by saying the better team lost.. Same for last game i quoted. But on the day they lost .. get over it.

      Whoosa - 2011-05-09 14:20


  • Dolittle - 2011-05-09 09:31

    no worries Scalla, you just had a Victor Matfield moment! a Word of advise, read the prescription properly when taking the testosterone supplements then you will be ok!

  • henk v - 2011-05-09 09:34

    rubbish coetzee - rubbish!! jy weet net so goed soos die res van die wereld dat Januarie lankal nie meer in die span hoort nie! hy is al vir jare nie meer veronderstel om daar te wees nie. hy is beslis die stadigste en vetste skrumskakel wat ek in my lewe gesien het! maar julle sal aan hom klou soos hondestront aan 'n wolkombers. soos wat de villiers en kie vir hulle spankeuses gaan betaal in die wereldbeker, so betaal die stormers nou al geruime tyd(seisoen) vir die fout wat hulle maak deur januarie in die span te hou. hou op om ons rugby publiek nonsens te probeer vertel en begin om die regte ding te doen deur spelers wat instaat is te kies.

      Whoosa - 2011-05-09 14:33


      Jan - 2011-05-10 01:19

      Ek stem saam, daarom het Hoffman Sharks toe gegaan. Ek sien Pienaar is op pad, maar hulle sal seker Januarie nog steeds bo hom kies?

  • AJ - 2011-05-09 09:41

    I always applaud going for the try rather than the penalty, however South African teams tend to get it back to front. They take the 3 points early when all are fresh, and are then chasing tries in the last few minutes when all are run off their feet. I've never understood the logic. Playing at home, top of the log, ten minutes into the game, penalty on opponents 5 yard line in front of the posts, a better launch pad one cannot ask for ---- and they take the 3 points on offer. Nothing says 'we dont back ourselves to score against you' like that does...

  • Grunk - 2011-05-09 09:41

    I don't think either side could play (were allowed to play) much better rugby than they did. I think the turning point of the game was actually when SBW - instead of his usual magic offloads - magically stripped Aplon of the ball when Stormers looked like they could be coming back into the game thus putting the Stormers right back on defense. The slow motion picture of his timing and perfect accuracy in doing this is something I will savour as a rugby lover for the rest of my days.

  • Marx - 2011-05-09 09:42

    A lot of injuries to the Saders kept the Stormers in the game, coulda, woulda, shoulda....the Stormpies lost, end of story.

      Lloyd - 2011-05-09 12:34

      Thanks for coming.

      Hayden - 2011-05-09 13:56

      Thnx for cumin in Lloyds mouth ja heeheeheee. Lots of injuries to the Saders kept them in the game..... Ja rite Lloyd was probable sorting them out. what he does best LOL. How many rounds did they have on u pretty boy Lloyd??? Gosh u could see Richee's excitement on the touch line...... He got it all that morning from a Michell "COM" plain no front teeth, fake parade Bulls/Saders jersey boytjie. That's the reason..... NO cups cause some little boy, girly face filled his Cups before Stormers could.

      Lloyd - 2011-05-09 22:47

      Hayden, your disregard for proper use of punctuation made me lose interest in you dribble.

  • Joe - 2011-05-09 09:50

    I was at the game on Sat. I was shocked and rather disgusted at the amount of cape flats crusaders ( NZ ) supporters. When the Stormers arrived in their Bus , the crowd "booed" them. I dont for one second believe that the main reason behind the huge number of support for the crusaders is that they play excellent rugby, the supporters are complete traitors and would be disloyal to any team or country that they come from. If you support NZ because of apartheid ( ie - you hate the boks ) lets not forget that NZ still allowed the boks to tour their country during the apartheid. So why do you support them? However looking at the "general" class of the crusader supporter at the game on Sat , I am glad that you do not cheer for my team. Go STORMERS

      RobinHood - 2011-05-09 09:58

      I agree - I also feel that the booing of visiting kickers is not worthy of a rugby-loving Stormers support base

      BCC - 2011-05-09 09:58

      'General class' of the Crusader player is that much better than the Stormer though Josephine.

      Dolittle - 2011-05-09 10:14

      it is a racist thing, an enemy of an enemy of mine, is a friend of mine, if you catch what I mean. These guys will even support the devil if they play against a so-called white team. It has nothing to do with the appreciation of NZ rugby & everything to do with an inborn hatred for everything that has potential for being excellent that has been developed by white South Africans.

      The Observer - 2011-05-09 13:34

      Robinhood. Who do you think started the boing culture in sa, yip the Newland crowd. Then to all weepee supporters aka bulls haters out their. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Your own supporters can't even stand behind your team for 80 minutes, hahahahaha. Stomers/WP supporters = worst ever.

      BTRX - 2011-05-09 15:25

      I agree poor taste the booing in CT. Especially when it is your own countrymen.

      therealdeal - 2011-05-10 04:48

      The Cape Coloureds are hypocrites. The previous week they were screaming for Stormers against the Sharks and this week for Crusaders against Stormers. WHO DO THEY SUPPORT ??????

  • Bosduif - 2011-05-09 09:52

    Let's just say if Schalk had to choose between a brain and some TicTacs you will probably smell the mintiness when he hits you with the shoulder when you are not looking.

  • Sh@rks Fever - 2011-05-09 09:59

    Stormers can only blame themselves for this one. Saders started the game with 5 of their top players short which effectively makes this a B-team. They then lost almost their whole backline in the first half. Which meant that the Stormers did play a B team Saders side for 50 minutes or so. The saders are just World Class. Whoever thinks Sonny Bill William is average is very naive. He made Jean De Villiers look very average and when Nick Koster once ran through and around and only had to pop inside to Jean he kept running the same angle as Koster, cause if you looked carefully SBW was the player on the inside waiting to tackle Jean if the ball was popped to him. To be honoust I now truely believe that there isn't a side that can beat the Saders in a Semi or Final after watching 11 games of Super rugby. We are going to have to seriously change our style of rugby. Even the Sharks are depending two much on the big guys to bash up the ball and create space. If they don't the Sharks don't know what to do.

      Roger 01 - 2011-05-09 12:29

      15 players short, makes it a B-team dimbo! You must have been in the same class as jm. You really don't know two (sic) much about anything!

  • Capey - 2011-05-09 10:02

    Those idiots booing the Stormers are going to get beaten up - and so they should. They dont have a real idea why they are supporting the other side, apart from some vague connection with apartheid - which is totally bogus. They are as bad as the expat racist saffa's overseas who trash SA all the time. Anyway, as said earlied, I am glad these fools are not Stormers supportes, they would just bring the tone down...

  • Aabels - 2011-05-09 11:08

    I were there. Gutsy game by both teams especially by the Saders after a successsion of injuries in the game. The New Zealand referee gave the Stormers lots of time at the end to win the game but they just did not show the necessary composure. Schalk Burger is a good player but wether he is a good captain is debatable.

  • Martin - 2011-05-09 11:32

    I think it was the right call !!!!

      The Observer - 2011-05-09 13:36

      100% the right call, gives the bulls a great chance for a comeback. Now stormers are in some trouble if they lose 2 games on tour, might not make the playoffs at all.

  • Marty - 2011-05-09 11:53

    I just feel that although Schalk and the boys were hard done by this loss, that the Crusaders and every other NZ team for that matter play the game in negative spirit when they are pinned down deep in their own 22 as was they case on numerous occasions saterday and then all we get is 3 points while they smile and commit another professional foul. It is rubbish and finally we get a yellow card for it, but wait for it, in the 82nd minute, to do what with then. Maybe we should start acknowledging their smart play and do it ourselves because you cannot compete with that. The ABlacks are renowed for quick turnovers and then scoring, if we can slow them down their, they will lose more then they have ever done. Its something that should either be rectified by the referees or we do it and then we see how the NZ teams struggle to win games. And what is up with all the South Africans supporting the NZ teams at Newlands, I was a bit ashamed of that reaction of the people that call this beautiful country of our their home.' over and out

      Roger 01 - 2011-05-09 12:31

      Can't we just send them over to NZ ?

      The Observer - 2011-05-09 13:37

      boohoo. Get over it. bulls supporters have been going through this for years and you lot shouted for their supporters to get over it.

      MaestroX - 2011-05-09 13:40

      If only we could send them to NZ, crime would pick up in NZ dramaticaly, as would the tik consumption, gansters, rape etc etc, and it would then decrease here dramaticaly. Don't wish it on the Kiwis, they are a good bunch in an awesome country. However it would br great to see the back end of those toothless turds!!

  • Shannon - 2011-05-09 12:46


  • Balsakhater - 2011-05-09 13:37

    Why all the debate - STORMERS SUCK!!!!!!.

      MaestroX - 2011-05-09 13:55

      Ja whatever Balsakhater, but you Bulls bend, we'll send!!

  • Crowbar24 - 2011-05-09 20:42

    Oh boy, "thats why you have substitutes"! you dont have to use them Boet. Sadie got tired?, on the wing? Just imagine how tired was the other guys in the team that is older than 22. The subs all showed a lot of energy when they went on? So what the water boys also looked full of energy.

  • Kleinboet - 2011-05-10 03:39

    Schalk is nie 'n baie goeie kaptein nie - was nog nooit nie! Baie goeie speler, ja. Jean de Villiers doen beter as kaptein; maar hy staan einde se kant toe. Wie is ons volgende kaptein? Onbeplande en self dom plaasvervangings diep in die tweede helfte het 'n groter uitwerking op die wedstryd gehad. Allister, leer jy dan nie, my vriend?

      The_Fox - 2011-05-10 08:12

      Ek dink AC mag dalk vir Bekker inspan as kaptein as Schalk en JDV nie beskikbaar is nie.

  • The_Fox - 2011-05-10 08:11

    Don't worry Schalk, we cant win them all. Good luck for the tour!

  • jan du preeaz - 2011-05-10 18:07

    ek moet se, te minste het ou skalkie nie terug gestaan vir die saders nie, die res van sy forwards was nerens nie, veral ou muppet vermeulen.

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