Vodacom Super Rugby
Stormers to tackle breakdown
Matthew Proudfoot (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Stormers forwards coach, Matthew Proudfoot says there are more ways of achieving success against the Bulls other than matching them physically.
According to Rugby365's website
, Proudfoot believes that even though the Stormers have had success against their northern rivals by throwing their weight around in the past, they will seek to gain the upper hand in a different manner when the sides meet at Newlands on Saturday.
Other than the Bulls, the Stormers are the side carrying the most form in Super Rugby, with four wins on the trot and Proudfoot has put this down to improved play at the breakdown for the men from the Cape.
"Since we have returned from (the Australasian) tour (in mid-May) we have put a lot of work into our breakdown," Proudfoot said.
"We have really been trying to speed it (the breakdown play) up, given the structured defence that teams are employing.
"Teams, like the Kings, Cheetahs and Bulls all have a fantastic defence," Proudfoot added.
"We are trying to speed up our breakdown, so we can get quicker ball - that is something we have been looking to improve upon."
Proudfoot went onto say that they have improved their execution within each department as the season wore on.
"The (Stormers) coaches have focussed heavily on the aspects in each department that needed work," he said.
"If you want to compete with the teams that are No.1, No.2 and No.3 in the competition all the departments of your game have to be spot on - we have focussed on improving our accuracy."
Proudfoot said there will not be any charity from the Stormers towards the Bulls, even though a win by the visitors on Saturday will be of to the benefit to South African rugby.
"What is indicative of the South African conference is the intensity of the games.
"No game is ever meaningless.
"You can look at all the South African games in the last few weeks, they have all been very heavily contested and no one game was 'just another match'.
"There is still a lot of pride at stake, irrespective of what the points table holds for the different SA teams."
Proudfoot says that the Stormers will relish tackling the table-topping Bulls and promise to give them a solid test before they head into the playoffs.
"We are playing the No.1 team in the competition and they are not there by fluke, they are there because they have been playing the most consistent rugby through the tournament.
"The consistency of your execution of the set phases, of the defence, of the break-down and of the kicking game have to be spot on.
"Then, also, the physicality challenge they do bring, when they look to pressurise you and force you into errors, that is the other crucial factor.
"If you marry those two factors together, then you'll be able to compete with them. If one of those factors falters you, you will be in a very poor position."