Coetzee: Lesson learnt

2012-02-06 10:18

Gavin Rich - SuperSport

Cape Town - DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee reckons he got more out of the defeat to the Toyota Cheetahs than he did in his previous two pre-season games. By that he probably means he has learned things that he would rather not know.

Whereas the last time the Stormers under-strength team saw action in the first friendly against the Boland Cavaliers in Wellington there was a lot of positivity about the depth available, the 22-14 loss to the Super Rugby team told a different story. There are a lot of willing young players, and someone suggested the new theme tune for the Stormers should be “The Young Ones”, but how many of them are really ready for the step up?

Although there were only eight points in it at the end, the Stormers were well beaten by the Cheetahs. It was not the result that was disturbing though, rather the fact that there were very few players challenging for places in the first choice team that would have caused the incumbents to have sleepless nights.

This was a game where the outflow of mostly second tier players during the off-season was most apparent. Since last October, when the Currie Cup season ended, almost an entire team has either left the region, retired or been released from contract. If you don’t agree look at this list: Conrad Jantjes, JJ Engelbrecht, Jaque Fourie, Tim Whitehead, Johann Sadie, Lionel Cronje, Ricky Januarie, Pieter Louw, Francois Louw, Anton van Zyl, Adriaan Fondse, JD Moller, CJ van der Linde (since last Super Rugby season)…

There are several others, not all of them capable of playing Super Rugby, but several of them better and boasting more Super Rugby experience than the back-up players who are left.

One area that the Stormers definitely have a yawning gap is in the area of fetcher flank, where over the past two seasons they have not just lost Louw, but also Luke Watson (admittedly a No8 at the end). Perhaps it is unfair to judge this facet of the game when the team is up against that magician Heinrich Brussow, but nonetheless the Cheetahs were able to steal way too much Stormers ball at the breakdown.

Not that this is one of the areas that Coetzee says he is concerned about. He preferred instead to blame referee Craig Joubert’s understandable laxness at the breakdown (it was only a pre-season friendly after all).

“In this game certain guys got away with murder. Maybe they could have been penalised for slowing the ball down, being off-side, or not rolling away, so I am not too concerned as I know once Super Rugby starts the referees will be a lot stricter,” said Coetzee.

“It had nothing to do with not having an opensider on the field,” he added.

One thing in mitigation of the players that did not do so well against the Cheetahs is that several of them are only just coming off injury lay-offs. One of those was flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis, who apart from missing 50% of his kicks at goal did not have the assured allround game that we became accustomed to from him when he first burst onto the scene from Varsity Cup level in 2011.

“Demetri wasn’t considered for the Lions game last week because of a hamstring injury, so for a first game it wasn’t so bad – there were things he did well and things he did not do so well,” said Coetzee.

The coach felt some of the newcomers, such as lock Eben Etzebeth, had again done well, and Nizaam Carr continues to impress. However while some will rave about club player Ederies Arendse he looks short of the pace required to excel at this level and should not survive the cut when Coetzee separates his off-season training squad into Stormers and Vodacom Cup groups later on Monday.


  • Brannas - 2012-02-06 11:07

    The strormers theme song should be " The USELESS ones"

      Shistirrer - 2012-02-06 13:52

      ...and may I suggest the Bulls new theme song: "Die Nostalgie" by Laurika Rauch.

  • Robsschele - 2012-02-06 11:16

    Very good to start the season with your feet on the ground. Last year the Bulls started with a big win over the Pumas in Nelspruit and where did it bring them.

  • Schalk - 2012-02-06 11:22

    ja baie waar,,,, hulle gaan ou Rassie nog kwaai mis!!!! groete Cheetah fabriek.

  • hoffjw - 2012-02-06 11:40

    Got to love a bloubul supporter...

      Bootman - 2012-02-06 12:37

      No you don't.........

  • Jan - 2012-02-06 11:48

    Hulle leer en leer en leer en leer en leer, maar die kop bly lek soos 'n sif! Ek dink Alister moet oorweeg om PdV se voorbeeld te volg. Sy teenwoordigheid is nie meer goed vir rugby nie.

      Bulldozer - 2012-02-06 12:32

      Ek dink snor moet gaan help.

      Melt - 2012-02-06 12:40

      Hi Jan, ek se nie hy is die beste nie, maar vergeet jy dat hy so lank as n jaar gelede die beste gevaar het van all SA afrigters in die Super 15 reeks? Nou wat gaan ons met die res van die afrigters maak wat slegter as Alister gevaar het in die Super 15? Ons dink aan Ludike, Nakka en kie. Jy weet mos nou jy het n gil gegee en jy weet nie hoekom nie. Gesels rugby broer of lees die keur. Wat dink jy van Louw se skitter spel vir Bath? 14 omkeer besit bewerkstellig en man of the match in Saterdag se game..........o ja jy hou mos nie van WP nie. Wat se jy dat hulle Fourie Springbok kaptein wil maak?

      Bootman - 2012-02-06 12:47

      Nice one Melt. Pity you are only allowed one "thumbs up"

      Melt - 2012-02-06 17:48

      Hi Jannie ons is nie kwaad vir jou nie. Ek het jou twee onderwerpe gegee om oor te gesels maar dit wil voorkom of jy liewer besluit het om die Keur te gaan lees. Jy mag maar uit jou hoekie van verdwaaldes kom en saam gesels ....mits jy rugby praat en nie ......gil en hardloop nie.

  • Rika - 2012-02-06 12:41

    @Bulldozer Asseblief net nie Snor nie, of ek weet nie of ons slegter af sal wees dan nie. LOL en ek is 'n Stormer ondersteuner!! Ek is net g@tvol om elke jaar te verloor en alles word verander behalwe waar die fout le - in die boardroom. Dis waar hulle besluit wie word gekoop en my goodness me, was dit dom besluite of wat?

  • Pieter - 2012-02-06 15:47

    Lesson learnt: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 ag wa stop ons. STORMERS= JOKERS OF WORLD RUGBY

      Shistirrer - 2012-02-06 17:22

      Bulls log positions out of 12 teams: 1998 - 11th 1999 - 12th 2000 - 11th 2001 - 12th 2002 - 12th Still the unbeaten worst consistent 5-year performance of any Super Rugby team, and an embarrassment to South Africa. The Stormers might not have won any cups, but at least they were never an embarrassment. For your information, a cup is just any good in the year you win it. The next year is a new competition and past performance counts for nothing - unless of course you lose all of your star players of the previous season and you are left with a spectator for captain and a limp wrist for vice captain, then things usually tend to go from bad to worse. Of hoe sê ek, Pieter?

      Bootman - 2012-02-06 17:55

      Pieter dit is wat gebeur as jy Standerd 2 eerste pouse uit die skool uit is. Jy kan nie tel nie.

  • trevorbklein - 2012-02-06 16:39

    Saturday's Stormers certainly did not look like they were a coached side. They looked more like a group that had just been thrown together before the match started. There is no variation in their play especially in the backline. Why is Schalk and the other flanker found standing in the backline on Stormer's throw in at the lineout? Surely you want your backline players to be there so that you can attack off first phase ball as well? All that is happening is that the middle of the field is being crowded. There are no good running lines visible when the ball goes out to the backline. The flyhalf does vary his play to confuse the opposition defenders. That is why the Cheetah's rush defence worked so well. I don't know whether the coaches know what they are doing. Allister seems very confused and it is getting very late already.

      Bootman - 2012-02-06 18:03

      Trevor no team who plays on three consecutive weekends with different players will show any cohesion. It simply doesnt work like that.

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