Reds eye on Stormers

2010-04-19 07:44

Brisbane - Despite the Reds' spectacular victory over the Bulls to move into the top four, it doesn't get any easier for them.

Following one of the best Super matches in recent times when the Reds overhauled the tournament favourites at Suncorp Stadium, the Reds must now devise a plan to beat the Stormers - a team described by All Blacks coach Graham Henry as the standout line-up in the tournament - in Brisbane on Friday night.

Reds coach Ewen McKenzie had only a short time to savour Saturday night's triumph before working on his next conquest.

''The Stormers have clearly the best defensive record in the tournament, and putting nearly 50 points against the Chiefs in Hamilton in their last game is a pretty good effort,'' McKenzie said on Sunday. ''They are looking pretty complete at the moment. We do have a few thoughts about how to counter them, but they are certainly a different style to the Bulls. So we will have to go back to the drawing board.''

The Stormers have conceded just 11 tries in nine matches, and have also been consistent scorers through clever variations of play. Nonetheless, the Reds will gain great confidence from the fact their tactics against the Bulls worked perfectly.

The Reds stayed away from the sidelines, limiting the Bulls' chances to use the lineout as an attacking springboard. This also nullified the Bulls' driving-maul game, while the Reds attempted to tire their large pack with a fast, expressive style.

The Reds' fitness levels came to the fore and they peaked in the final quarter - an impressive effort, considering they returned from a long trip through South Africa only last Monday.

A key factor, McKenzie said, was telling his players that jet lag was a figment of their imagination. ''We wanted to take them out of their [head] space,'' he said.

''Also, it goes to show that you can come back from South Africa and play well. It is just a mindset. I said to the players that no matter what, fatigue will not be used as an excuse. We didn't have a day off from training, and had 40-minute grabs same time each day. I said to them, 'You have 23 hours to sleep, and be awake for an hour to train.'''

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke admitted the Reds out-thought his side. ''Hats off to the Reds. They played some of the best continuity rugby I've seen for a long time and we couldn't get our strengths into the game,'' Ludeke said.

The Reds' only casualty was lock Van Humphries, who damaged his ankle and is likely to be replaced by Adam Byrne for the Stormers match.

Rugby Heaven

  • Deon - 2010-04-19 07:51

    Oh dear the Stermers are going to kill us on the 15th of May. I am very worried that we (Bulls) only win 13% of our games when Graig Joubert is the ref. I am worried that we wil only have 1 team in the top 4 so lets hope that Graig does not ref another Bulls game. The Bulls played like the were not interested in the game and again the little ball possesion that we had was just kicked into the hands of the Reds. The Stormers will get 5 point against the Reds if it is not Graig again.

  • Etienne - 2010-04-19 07:55

    I cannot believe people are calling this a great match. The first half belonged to the bulls with their defence being excellent and the Reds not finishing their opportunities. The second half was the Reds all the way with the bulls not converting any of their chances to points and the Reds scoring good points. As a bull supporter I have to point out that we all have decisions by the ref go for us and sometimes against us. The try by the Reds no 8 when he was ahead of the kicker by about 2 metres (watch the replays) should nevber have been, but well doen to him for outrunning Wynand and Zane. Was it not for the offside It woudl have been a try of the season for me. Lastly, Habana has been crap since his joining teh cape franchise, but what the hell happened to Jacques Fourie? wow, thie guy is getting better and better and better and better. He is playing Great rugby.

  • Robin Bradley - 2010-04-19 08:05

    This is going to be a very tough game!! Reds are in outstanding form at the moment!! I still predict (dare I say it) a very tough win for the Stormers. They will succeed where the other SA teams failed against the Reds. DEFENCE!! We are still the stingiest defenders and i think that will give us the win!! STORMERS!!!

  • fuzzy - 2010-04-19 08:07

    Thisn is going to be a game of note. The whol e season the Stormers have threatened on attack only for that last pass to go to ground. On Friday they stuck! Now if they can only take that momentum forward we are in with a chance

  • Blue Jake - 2010-04-19 08:19

    The Stormers will win this one. They will not kick every single ball into a Reds player's hands just to have to tackle tackle tackle. If the Bulls keep up this tactic they must rather send their frontline players to go win the Vodacom cup.

  • Peter - 2010-04-19 08:46

    You go Reds u Beauty. Now for the Stormy's and then forthe final.

  • die yster - 2010-04-19 08:52

    Maak toe julle vensters en deure. Gaan haal julle kinders en honde uit die strate. hier kom 'n storm. Close your windows and doors, there's a storm comming.

  • Etienne - 2010-04-19 08:52

    Just wanted to point out one flaw in the stormers team. If (and i hope it never does) Jacques Fourie gets injured, they stormers will fall hard.

  • Sheldon - 2010-04-19 08:53

    @Blue Jake. Reds were lucky as well. Tactics like that can go pear shaped in a hurry to. It all went their way. Doubt it will happen again. Hahaha, If they meet the bulls at loftus in a semi and play like that. The altitude will destroy them. Stormers to win well this weekend. No Sireli though, to slow for a team like the Reds.

  • realist4sa - 2010-04-19 08:58

    The Stormers should close the space of both Cooper and Genia. They are the dangermen who are able to get the guys over the advantage line. Without them being able to control the game the Reds game plan will be limited. Stormers must control the game from the go and make sure that if a kick is to be made then make sure the kick stops the game i.e. lineout. Thats where the Bulls got much of it wrong. The box kick does not work much against Australian team (Can anyone remember last years Tri Nations game against Aus when they beat us?) Well we followed the same tactic and lost. A week later the Kiwi's kept the ball in hand and put physical pressure on Aus. The won 33 -3 if im correct! Stormers has their work cut out!

  • Richard Nixon - 2010-04-19 09:06

    Reds are one dimensional. They run well but not much else. Stormers have the best breakdown management in the tournament and this will win them the game.

  • Blue Bull Hater/Anti-Blue Bull - 2010-04-19 09:10

    Will be very TOUGH, but the STORMERS will win it by between 10-15 points, including a bonus point!!! UP YOU STORMERS!!!

  • Stormer Concern - 2010-04-19 09:10

    I am a Stormer supporter but I am getting very worried about all the fuss. Too much unnecessary pressure as far as I am concern. If it is our year to win lets first do so before it goes to our heads. They are doing well because they are the underdogs. Keep it like that….

  • the Raconteur - 2010-04-19 09:13

    @ ettiene. gaan kak jy maar met jou negatiewe onsin. die wp speel weer die rugby van ouds, en die bulle beter hulle storie her dink, want hulle up n under rugby gaan hulle nerens vat die jaar nie.

  • Andrew - 2010-04-19 09:18

    @ Etienne I think not my friend, if you have spent some time to read up on the Stormers last few victories as well as saw the games, you will notice that unlike some other teams, they play as a team, no individual players are the game winners. Each and every single player in the Stormers team give their best and that is why they are where they are this year. I just can't help it to get the feeling that because they are a threat to a lot of the other teams out there, the Stormers now get criticized from left to right but a few years back when they played just as bad as some of our home teams do now, nothing was said about them.

  • Joe - 2010-04-19 09:28

    I am a Stormers supporter, but hype around being a finalist iw worrying. Talking up a team is always a concern. The Reds are hot at the moment. And being the last game on tour, the team may have one foot on the plane like the Bulls, and be blown over like they were.

  • Kolkas - 2010-04-19 09:45

    Aah, the "one-foot-on-the-plane" syndrome. That is the Stormers biggest threat this weekend, just like the "a-week-after-a-bye" syndrome sunks us in Perth. Come on Stormers, concentrate, and be there at the game 100% and we should win this one.I don't see the Reds slicing though our Defense the way they did to the Bulls. The Bulls have been leaking Tries and missing tackles whole season. Good luck Boys. Stormers by 9.

  • AndrĂ© - 2010-04-19 10:59

    Stormers to beat the Reds. Stormers play a more intelligent game than the Bulls.

  • The ref - 2010-04-19 11:20

    Dis mos altyd die ref ,ne Ettienne? Kan julle Bulle asseblief met iets meer oorspronklik vorendag kom. Julle raak nou so een dimensioneel soos Julius met sy "race card".

  • stormers fan - 2010-04-19 11:45

    @ Ettienne, the STORMERS have enough dept should Fourie for some stupid reason be out of the line and that's the luxuray some of the other teams doesnot have. The other thing you need know, we donot depend on individuals to do the business - the STORMERS is a i in team. If you've been watching the STORMERS, you would've seen and i guess you haven't been watching. Pity you and the team you support. STORMERS will win this one on Friday with a 10 point difference.

  • Etienne - 2010-04-19 11:50

    @ andrew and the raca watever.........just shows how you guys watch rugby, purely for entertainment. You need to see the bigger picture here boys, who do you think pulls the stormers defence together??? Who do you think is the general in the backline??? if you are watching rugby purely for the fun, then keep your comments to yourself. Now, you "dont pick on my stormers team twats", any loyal stormer supporter will agree with me that the decision maker and defencive organizer in the stormers backline is Jaqcues. Heck man he even brought Nakoelievoekie into play and made him look good. I always said Jean de Villiers was nothing without Jacques Fourie.

  • Stormer - 2010-04-19 12:12

    Ettienne. What about the embarrassing hand off Jacque Fourie got against the Blues? Not the best centre in the world!!!

  • the Raconteur - 2010-04-19 12:22

    @ ettien. Yes mate we all know that. But for you to sit and be so flippin pessimistic pisses me and my fellow "armature" supporter something stupid. Every thing's got to be a pissing contest with you mate? Just sit there and enjoy the champaign rugby the boytjies from Good Hope are dishing up. It's awe inspiring goose bump inducing running rugga, and i for one will not sit here and have it soiled buy a miserable prick like you....

  • Etienne - 2010-04-20 09:01

    Raca bru, what I am trying to say is that you have no depth.

  • Paul from QLD - 2010-04-20 14:58

    hahahaha. there is a very similar mindset among the stormers supporters as the bulls supporters last week, you think you can beat the Reds. As a lifelong Reds supporter I can tell you this is just the start for the Reds. We are coming back to being the provincial powerhouse that we once were. Don't blame the ref when you lose (as SA teams tend to blame the ref when they lose) you've just been beaten by the better side. Reds by 10+

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