Stormers hold crisis talks

    2013-05-21 10:06
    Cape Town - Stormers coach Allister Coetzee on Monday told a high-powered delegation that poor refereeing and a high injury toll were big contributing factors to their struggles this year.

    The Stormers on Saturday returned from an unsuccessful Australasian tour where they lost their last three games against the Blues, Waratahs and Rebels.

    According to the Cape Times, Coetzee, his assistants Matthew Proudfoot and Robbie Fleck, as well as captain Jean de Villiers and team manager Chippie Solomon, held talks with Stormers chairperson Sam Dube, managing director Rob Wagner and president Thelo Wakefield to discuss their ailing season, in which they have only won only four out of 11 games to sit 11th on the overall table.

    Wakefield though, said the union's leadership is backing the Stormers to "turn things around", starting with a game against the Reds at Newlands this weekend.

    "I think we had a very fruitful discussion this afternoon," Wakefield told the newspaper on Monday.

    "The purpose of the discussion was basically how to get the campaign back on track, and to find out what the obstacles were overseas. The reasons offered were in some cases poor refereeing, and then also injuries on tour to key players and in key departments.

    "I'm very confident that the coaching staff will do their utmost best to satisfy the fans this weekend. There was no talk of Allister's position at all, no talk of any position. Look, at the end of the season, we will sit down and do an evaluation of what we have in terms of expertise around the team.

    "If we must reinforce, we will reinforce."

    Wakefield said injuries to flyhalf Peter Grant and hooker Tiaan Liebenberg were big blows.

    "Allister mentioned that up until now, he's had 17 injuries all together, with very senior guys like (Rynhardt) Elstadt, (Duane) Vermeulen, Liebenberg and Peter Grant. These are players who form the backbone of the team, the most experienced guys. Many of them were Springboks, like Peter Grant, Eben Etzebeth, Bryan Habana and now Duane Vermeulen," continued Wakefield.

    The Stormers' clash against the Reds kicks off at 17:05 on Saturday.

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