3 reasons the Stormers lost

    2014-03-31 13:25

    Herman Mostert - Sport24

    Cape Town - There may well have been more, but Sport24 feels there were THREE main reasons why the Stormers lost the final match of their Australasian tour to the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday.

    As it happened: Reds v Stormers

    A 22-17 reverse meant the Cape side returned home to South Africa having lost all four of their matches Down Under - a feat only "emulated" by Harry Viljoen's class of 1998.

    While it is true that the Capetonians are ravaged by injuries to key players, they were in with a real shot at beating the Reds, but a few things hampered their cause:

    1. Lineouts lost

    The Stormers lost no fewer than EIGHT lineouts on their own throw with Deon Fourie at hooker.

    It's an unacceptable stat at this level of the game and severely crippled any flow or momentum the Cape side may have built up.

    The Reds' first try by lock Rob Simmons resulted directly from a skew throw by Fourie close to his own line.

    Fourie is a brilliant player in general play, but has too often misfired in the lineout department. It also affected the rest of his game and he should be utilised exclusively as a loose forward in future.

    When substitute hooker Stephan Coetzee came on late in the game, he won three on his own ball to improve their overall lineout stats on the day to 7 won and 8 lost.

    2. Talk of managerial/coaching changes

    Rumours regarding Gert Smal being appointed as Director of Rugby at the union, and the possible sacking of assistant coaches Robbie Fleck (backline) and Matthew Proudfoot (forwards), had to be disruptive to the team's preparations.

    In the build-up to the game, skipper Jean de Villiers expressed his disappointment at the rumours, saying it "hurt" the team.

    The last thing players and coaches struggling for confidence need is to hear is about possible sweeping changes when they're back home.

    It showed in their performance on the field, as the Stormers look disjointed and without direction for large parts.

    3. Losing Gio Aplon

    Losing fullback Gio Aplon early in the game (23rd minute) with a bad elbow injury robbed the Stormers of some much-needed attacking impetus.

    Aplon has this season looked like the only player in the team capable of creating something out of nothing and the Stormers will miss him dearly over the next six to eight weeks.

    It showed when he left the field as coach Allister Coetzee's charges were unable to haul the Reds in once they got behind.

    The Stormers tackle the Waratahs at Newlands on Saturday (19:10) and could take to the field with a few new faces at the helm...

    *The Western Province Rugby Union has called a press conference for 14:00 on Monday where it is expected an announcement will be made over changes to the managerial staff.

    Stay tuned to Sport24 for an update on all the happenings from Newlands...

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