Stormers 'victory before flair'

    2012-05-18 12:28

    Cape Town - The Stormers have made it clear that victory is primary and they are unlikely to veer away from their game plan in their Super Rugby clash against the Waratahs at Newlands on Saturday.

    Despite their fine run of victories, the Stormers have dished up a spate of dreary performances which is in stark contrast to the traditional style of Newlands-based teams.

    Waratahs coach Michael Foley said his side expected another strong defensive performance from the hosts.

    ''They (Stormers) kick the ball into your half and use their defence to force you into error," said Foley.

    "They also have a very good goal-kicker and, if they are out of range, they kick for the sideline and maul.

    "That's pretty much their game and they are very, very patient with their attacking kicking and try and force you to play a lot of phases without momentum in your own half."

    Last week, the Stormers were ordinary at the second-half set-pieces which meant their much-vaunted defence was kept busy and opportunities to attack were restricted.

    Jean de Villiers said the set-piece lapses were very much at the heart of the side's "poor" performance, while he praised the Waratahs' display against the Bulls.

    “Last week we lost three lineouts when on attack in their 22-metre area, and that does not help the chances of keeping the pressure on opponents to set up good attacking opportunities," De Villiers said.

    "The Waratahs didn’t beat the Bulls last week but they were impressive and will be pleased with the way they got several aspects of their game right. They probably should have won that game.”

    The Waratahs have also noted that tactical kicking had proved unsettling for the Cape franchise and it could be a handy weapon on Saturday.

    "We've learnt from watching the Crusaders and Reds win games against the Stormers that attacking with ball in hand as well as contestable kicks will be vital,'' said Foley.

    Tactical kicking has not been a strong point for the Stormers although their chasers at kick-offs have proved troublesome for the opposition.

    Fullback Joe Pietersen and flyhalf Peter Grant have not always managed to kick the ball into touch, a weakness which has presented opponents with counter-attacking opportunities.

    Much will depend on the physicality of the Stormers' pack since the Waratahs have made a point of adding weight upfront to their team for the Newlands clash.

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