Vodacom Super 14

Crusaders, Stormers like a Test

2010-04-29 22:37
Stuart Dickinson (Gallo Images)
Stephen Nell

Cape Town – Dan Carter, Richie McCaw and Stuart Dickinson.

To some it may sound like a lethal cocktail for a South African team, but the Stormers are determined to seize the moment in Friday night’s Super 14 match against the Crusaders at Newlands.

Firstly, the Stormers function well enough as a team not to be intimidated by superstars such as Carter and McCaw, and apportioning blame to referees is not part of the team culture.

In any event, the vastly experienced Dickinson is viewed as a very competent referee in the Stormers camp.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee knows that it will depend on his team whether they get back on the winning track after going down to the Reds last week.

The Crusaders themselves got a hiding from the Western Force and the Newlands clash can be crucial to both team’s semi-final hopes.

Coetzee has decided to stick to the recipe that has largely worked this year and hopes the players can simply execute the plan with greater accuracy this week.

“Continuity is very important at this stage of the competition. We have to make sure that we play well this weekend. It’s a critical game,” he said.

“The Crusaders are touring and still have to play against the Bulls, so will come with everything they’ve got.

“They have been successful over the years because they have good systems. They play with a lot of discipline and don’t make many mistakes. They are also the second best defensive side in the competition. That makes them difficult to beat.

“It’s going to be like a Test. They have a fly-half in Dan Carter who understands the game and is very skilful. But for us it’s not about individuals. We focus on what we want to achieve on the night.”

Carter probably holds the key for the Crusaders. He is a gifted fly-half that can dictate a game if the service to him is good.

However, every New Zealand side that has faced the Stormers to date this year ultimately bowed to the intensity of the Cape side’s physical onslaught.

If the Stormers’ forwards can play with similar intensity and build momentum, it may well be Peter Grant rather than Carter dictating matters.

As far as the first phases are concerned, the lineouts may offer the Stormers opportunities.

The Crusaders would have worked hard on it after they struggled against the Western Force, but Andries Bekker and Co will still be out to work a crucial advantage.

Coetzee has done everything he can, including giving the players that suffered a narrow loss in Brisbane a vote of confidence.


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