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    Stormers best without the ball

    2013-05-22 17:30

    Adnaan Mohamed

    Cape Town - Stormers coach Allister Coetzee says criticism that his side plays better rugby without the ball is not completely unfounded.

    He also believes there is nothing wrong with their game plan.

    "It is correct to say that we play better without the ball because that is where we started and the culture was built around that," Coetzee said after a practice session at the High Performance Centre in Bellville on Tuesday.

    "The emphasis was always on defence. It was the way the game was going at the time. The IRB's ELV rules forced us to play that way. No one in world rugby could handle that.

    “Not even the All Blacks in the Tri-Nations at one stage could. Then there was another couple of hybrid laws - like the free kick and quick tap kick - that came into play.

    “So when we started with this defensive mindset, it was good at the time based on the laws of the game," he explained.

    The Stormers, who are 11th position on the Super Rugby log, have long been regarded as the best defensive unit in Super Rugby, but their attacking game has suffered as a result.

    With exciting Springboks like Bryan Habana, Jean de Villiers, Juan de Jongh, Gio Aplon, Elton Jantjies and Joe Pietersen in their backline, they have underperformed in this department.

    But Coetzee is adamant there is nothing wrong with his side's approach to the game.

    "Unforced errors on our part have been the most disappointing part of our game thus far, but there is definitely nothing wrong with our systems and our game plan.

    "The plan is to have a full go on turnover possession so that we create counter attacking opportunities for us by forcing the opposition to kick under pressure. That is the attacking plan we have," he said.

    Coetzee said they have shown the ability to score from first phase through the backs.

    "Jean's (De Villiers) try was classic against the Blues. We’re not getting the results from our driving mauls because it is a bit of a lottery how the refs are officiating it.

    “We don't often get the reward we are looking for. That is why we are looking to attack off the top (of the lineout) more from first phase. We can't attack if our scrums are not solid and we don't get clean lineout ball. So we need to get our first phase right."

    The Stormers who became the first South African team to lose to the Rebels last week in Melbourne, face the Reds at Newlands on Saturday.

    Coetzee was on Wednesday forced to name a much-changed line-up after suffering a spate of injuries.



    15. Joe Pietersen, 14. Gio Aplon, 13. Jean de Villiers (captain), 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Elton Jantjies, 9. Louis Schreuder, 8. Nizaam Carr, 7. Don Armand, 6. Siya Kolisi, 5. Eben Etzebeth, 4. Gerbrandt Grobler, 3. Brok Harris, 2. Tiaan Liebenberg, 1. Steven Kitshoff

    Substitutes: 16. Martin Bezuidenhout, 17. Chris Heiberg, 18. Marius Coetzer, 19. Rohan Kitshoff, 20. Dewaldt Duvenage, 21. Gary van Aswegen, 22. Gerhard van den Heever



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