Coetzee not out for bonus points
Cape Town - A look at where the Stormers are in the South African conference of Super Rugby helps explain why coach Allister Coetzee is not losing sleep over the fact that his side has only registered two bonus points this season.
The Bulls are on tour for the next three weekends while the Stormers are at home for that same period. With the Bulls top by just a single point and facing a tough run-in, the smart money would be on four wins - bonus points or not - being enough for Coetzee's men to secure top spot in the conference.
Australia's Rebels are next in line to visit Newlands having just shipped 46 points in a loss to the lowly Reds last weekend. With that result so fresh in mind the Stormers could be forgiven for eyeing out four tries, but Coetzee has been quick to dispel any such over-confidence.
"The Rebels have beaten the Chiefs, they've beaten the Brumbies away and they put one over the Crusaders (away) as well," he said.
"So it shows their capacity as a team unit. In this competition any team can beat any team on the day if you don't get it right."
Coetzee, not taking anything for granted, urged his side to instead focus on their own performance and the aspects - such as lineouts - that they had been working on since the bye week.
"We want to be stronger and better against the Rebels this week. I think we all agree that our lineouts aren't there yet and we're working on that plan," said the coach.
"The bonus points scenario, if you look at all the teams that have six, seven bonus points... they are teams that have lost narrowly six, seven times.
"We don't want to go and say we must just lose (by less than seven), we want to fight until we win the game and that's the philosophy."
With a bit of rain expected in Cape Town on Saturday, four tries might move even further down the list of priorities. But Coetzee insists that, regardless of what the weather is doing, his side always looks to play a balanced game.
"It's not going to change our playing style. It's not going to force us to do something that we haven't done," said Coetzee.
"I think the way we want to play is with a balance. We'd always like to keep ball in hand when we have the momentum and ascendancy and are in the right areas... and we also realise that if we can kick ourselves into a good position then we will do that."
Saturday's match kicks off at 19:10.