Stormers rue poor lineouts
Cape Town - The Crusaders' unmatched ability to take better options was, according to Stormers captain Jean de Villiers, the primary reason why they toppled the Stormers 19-13, at Newlands, on Saturday evening.
"From an attacking viewpoint, we took the wrong options," said De Villiers.
"We had made so much progress (with our ability to attack) in the past weeks, and then we disappointed so much tonight."
VIDEO: Stormers v Crusaders, highlights
The New Zealand visitors ran out at Newlands with a plan which was primarily aimed at disrupting the Stormers lineout and it worked like a charm although the Stormers battled gamely and at the end came within a whisker of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.
The fact that they had lost so many lineouts was self-destructing but with limited opportunities, the Stormers could have triumphed had they taken better options.
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee also referred to the poor option-taking which he simply masked as "mistakes".
"It was a very disappointing result and mistakes again cost us tonight," Coetzee said.
"You cannot play this game if you cannot win your set-piece, and especially your lineout.
"That is where we battled and that is why we couldn’t put them under pressure with ball in hand."
Coetzee praised his charges for their positive attitude, especially on defence, even when they were a player short.
"The positive for me is that you can't coach attitude, and the guys showed a big desire out there to fight back," he said.
"You can coach lineouts, and you can get it right.
"It is difficult to say why we did not show consistency (from one week to the next) but we have to get the lineout right because we're facing the Cheetahs next, they've got a strong lineout."
The Stormers mentor said the issues in the lineouts did not merely come down to the throw-ins but a combination of factors they needed to improve on.
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder said his team's gameplan had worked well, even though they were without several key players.
"We knew the Stormers' set-piece was critical to their game, and the guys have just done a lot of hard work (on that area) this week," Blackadder said.
"We put them under pressure and it doesn't happen by accident.
"The team had been through a bit this week because, obviously, there was a bit of attention about the players that we didn't have but I think the senior players did a great job. We really prepared well for this week so we got a really good outcome."