Cape Town - Stormers coach Allister Coetzee
says it's important that they get off to a good start in their Super Rugby semi-final against the Sharks at Newlands on Saturday.
The Stormers have struggled in recent years to win games in which they started slowly. In last year's semi-final against the Crusaders they were 23-3 down in the first half and were never able to recover. Also, in the 2010 final against the Bulls they were 16-0 down after 25 minutes before losing 25-16. This year they also lost 25-20 to the Sharks in Durban after trailing 25-6 early in the second half.
However, on the other hand, they hardly ever lose when they start well. Die Burger
reports that in 10 games this year the Capetonians built up a strong lead in the first half and went on to win every single time.
Therefore it is understandable that Coetzee wants his charges to come out of the blocks flying, but he's also urged them to keep it up, especially against a dangerous outfit like the Sharks.
"We have to stick to the recipe of starting well, but we have to keep it up over 80 minutes," he said.
"That's the challenge in a semi-final. You have to play towards your strengths and not get stuck in your own half. The execution should also be clinical. It can cost you dearly if you don’t play towards your strengths."
The clash at Newlands kicks off at 17:05 on Saturday.