Stormers need mindset change

2012-05-14 07:20

Cape Town – Is the Stormers’ unquestionably top-notch defensive game becoming just a little too dangerously like an obsession that impedes other areas of their battle-plan?

GALLERY: Past weekend in pictures

Perhaps the time has come for some honest reflection within their camp, on that very theme.

Those disinclined to want to fiddle with what looks, on paper at the very least, like a notably “winning formula” – nine wins from 10 Super Rugby games is exactly that, statistically – could argue that the Stormers are right up among the front-runners and there is thus no reason to tweak their approach.

More forward-thinking, pro-active people may well be tempted to offer a slightly contrary view: a good start to their argument might be along the lines of “with fewer losses than anybody else, surely they should be comfortably out in front of the pack?”

It is tight at the top, admittedly (and the Brumbies are above them artificially in terms of the dubious Super Rugby conference structure) but the fact remains that despite yet another victory at the weekend the Stormers lie only fourth overall as things stand.

And certain figures stand out like a sore thumb against them, casting some doubt, like it or not, on their ability to genuinely become a “championship” team at long last.

At least two of their columns on the overall log – tries for, and bonus points – stayed glaringly poorly-stocked following their 16-14 outcome against the Cheetahs in a frankly hideous, inept, embarrassingly sterile game of rugby by both sides on Saturday night.

I would only watch it again under duress – as if, maybe, institutionalised Alex in the controversial 1971 movie classic “A Clockwork Orange”, his eyes gruesomely wired open by sadistic scientists to watch newsreel-type scenes of nauseating violence while under radical, nausea-inducing “therapy” for his own brutality.

Was I the only one who thought the derby fixture that awful a viewing spectacle?

The winning outfit, playing at home before a healthy, expectant audience who went home badly let down for quality of entertainment despite the result, could only manage one try ... and Eben Etzebeth’s barge-over, while a fitting product of concerted forward pressure at the time, wasn’t the sort you would nominate for any “Top 100 tries of Super Rugby” sort of DVD.

It left the Stormers with 17 tries after 10 matches, and it doesn’t require a calculator to work out that that means an average of 1.7 to their favour per match.

There is a certain haplessness – and it does the franchise’s attack strategists no favours, don’t you think? -- to the fact that the Stormers’ try tally thus far is superior only to one of the other 14 sides in the entire competition: the rock-bottom Lions (15 dot-downs).

Whilst SA conference leaders the Bulls are significantly inferior to their great Cape rivals in try-concession terms, it is becoming more and more educative to note that they are leaving them well behind in the more “positive” column: they are averaging much closer to four tries a match (3.6) for a strike rate that is more than double the Stormers’.

Until a few years ago, there was a long-time tradition of believing, often with justification, that north-south clashes served up great contrasts in philosophy: the Bulls with their brawny packs and Naas Botha-type “kicking” flyhalves, and the Newlands culture being based much more around fluid, daring “Province rugby”.

That trend is beginning to turn around to a quite significant extent, even if Capetonian enthusiasts have certainly not objected up to now to conscious efforts to harden up, if you like, Stormers/WP forward play and install near-impregnable defensive principles.

But for how much longer, especially as the cabinet for major trophies remains bare, will the Newlands faithful tolerate what seems either a dwindling commitment to attacking pizzazz or, more worryingly perhaps, creeping bankruptcy in it?

With their swelling record in 2012 for failure to bank four-try bonus points (even in much poorer seasons, I can’t think of many Stormers sides going 10 matches without one full-house win to show for their troubles) the team is simultaneously being blunted in their bid to nail down vital top spot and the attached likelihood of a home final.

Their lone bonus point, which came for running the Crusaders suitably close in their only loss thus far, sticks out like a sore thumb among the teams presently occupying the six-strong playoffs spots.

That solitary point is at least four fewer than sported by anyone else in that zone, effectively amounting to an extra “loss” for the Stormers, when you really think about it.

It is also fewer bonus points than any other side in the whole competition, although as you look down the table it is inevitable that many teams losing more than they are winning will bank fairly regular bonus points for surrendering games within a seven-point margin.

The Stormers’ brains trust often argue that as long as the team keeps winning, a log position at or as near as damn it to the top will take care of itself. That may be proved to be so ... but there is also a case developing for saying that it may just not.

What was so disconcerting about their struggle to subdue the Cheetahs was how they opened up a sizeable 16-0 first-half lead, which seemed to offer a promising suggestion that they were doing plenty of “sagmaak” in preparation for a four-try hunt, but then fell back horribly into a kind of soak-it-up, defence-orientated comfort zone rather than really striking out adventurously to put the match right out of reach for the Free Staters.

Let’s not forget also that defending desperately for long periods, however yeoman and organised it may be, takes a significant physical toll – a toll that probably accumulates almost unknowingly to some extent as a season drags on.

One shaft of light after Saturday’s yawn-inducing slop was captain Jean de Villiers’s refreshingly candid confession immediately afterwards that things would have to improve dramatically – and he singled out the “attack” aspect – if the Stormers were to stay in the race.

It seems there is at least a will among the players to provide some long overdue sparkle; we simply await suitably slick execution thereof.

There is mounting pressure now, I reckon, for the Stormers to do more than “just win again” when the Waratahs come to town next Saturday.

Would it be too much to ask them to play some rugby?

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing


  • Jason - 2012-05-14 07:40

    Rob i think you are way off the mark, at the business end of this comp the rugby played will be test rugby! Win at all costs rugby! Defense Defense Defense will be the name of the game, and the Stormers will be so good at it that we will have a good chance! Also the Stormers defensive coach recently eluded to the fact that it doesn't take nearly as much energy to defend the way the Stormers do because of their structures. I still believe a win is a win, and we won ugly but we won, and thats a sign of a solid team. I hope the boys do it, this is the hardest competition in world rugby!

      Charl - 2012-05-14 07:55

      ja and like last year thay just defend defend defend and then the Crusaders beaten them at Newlands coz if thay just defend then thay wont win

      Oscar - 2012-05-14 08:00

      Sorry jason, we not going to make it to the semi-finals and if we do, we will be probably be traveling. If the stormers are losing by more than 7 (ie, against the Saders) how can they believe they can win?how will anybody, because we know we cant score tries, turning those moments in crucial games come's from an experience gained where you have accomplished that task beforehand and unfortunately we have not. That was a very poor Cheetah's team, their no. 10 got the yips and their pack was not near the quality of the Stormers, yet we still struggle to put them away. What the hell does Fleck get paid for? teaching our number 9 to kick? we might as well play 6 flankers, jean De Villers is highly ineffective (at least within this game plan...) bonus points will get us a home semi-final, tackling all season long will leave the Stormers with an empty cabinet yet again. The stormers (coaches..) are unsure as to how to win this competition, every year they struggle to find a balance.

      Jason - 2012-05-14 08:06

      @Oscar, only time will tell! but we have had some of the best tries of the tournament on the back of defensive errors by the other team. I still say that 9 out of 10 is damn good! We are there or there about! Give the guys a chance................we are so quick to judge coaches but we fail to see the positives!

      Tokolos - 2012-05-14 08:20

      Jason One Eyed Stormer!!! Open your eyes Jason. The Stompies are not as good as you make them out to be. They are going to CHOKE again! Their "great defense" nearly bit them in the #ss Saturday. No use you defend well and in attack allow turn over (intercept) tries.

      Jason - 2012-05-14 08:31

      Cheese and Rice Tokolosh, you have typical Blue Bull Stormer hatred...........that aside, we are every bit as good as our results, which is 9 wins from 10 games....whether you like it or not. We had a bad game on Saturday no doubt, but if you are winning your bad games then thats great!

      Gert - 2012-05-14 08:34

      Whatever Nienaber said about the defense not taking such a toll on the players is wrong! Just take a loot at your injury list, especially to the regular hard hitters who have to put in a lot of hits week in and week out. They will all be watching Satruday's match on their sofa's at home.

      Nic - 2012-05-14 08:42

      @jason stupid argument. In the playoffs all the teams will lift their defences up to test level, the difference being they can score tries, the Stompies cannot. Heyneke should not consider any of the Stormer backs for the Boks as they lack creativity and vision. One dimensional.

      rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-05-14 08:48

      It is ironic that Allister/Fleck uses the smallest backline with 7's skill and flair to play a defensive game! And it does not help that the local derbies turns into ugly scraps where everyone try to decapitate the opposition. I agree Bloues - the injury lists are just going to get longer and longer in the last couple of weeks of this season. We've still got: Sharks/Stormers, Sharks/Bulls, Cheetahs/Stormers, Bulls/Cheetahs, Bulls/Stormers to name a few. And these will cost all our teams ANY chance of lifting the S15 trophy this year. Chiefs/Crusaders final.

      Ray - 2012-05-14 09:06

      Although I am a Stormers supporter,I prefer watching the Bulls.Stormers seem to lack the "killer" instinct,to put the opposition away when they are dominating.

      colin.steyn.5 - 2012-05-14 09:48

      Jasoneye, you sound like a Bull. There's no such thing as win at all cost. If you play like a coward you may win some but you will finally kill the game.

      Harold - 2012-05-14 09:49

      Colin, you sound like an idiot.

      colin.steyn.5 - 2012-05-14 10:26

      If it is idiotic to love rugby as it was meant to be played, I will take it as a complement, thank you ! ps. I have nothing against Bulls, only their EGO-boosted supporters

      Deon - 2012-05-14 11:05

      Stormers will be in trouble should they slip a few games now. Suddenly they could be fighting the Sharks for 6th place.

      Jeffrey - 2012-05-14 11:08

      I back your comment Maestro. Stormers attacking play is practically non-existent. I am a firm supporter of the Stormers, but I believe if this is how they play the game they do not deserve to win the championship. They are barely able to pass the ball down the backline, it's a disgrace that 4 Springboks cannot conjure up a backline move to score tries. As for Duvenhage, he is a waste of space, Nic Groom is a better scrummie.

      adrian.bruwer - 2012-05-14 11:30

      Our problem is that we have too many miniature players in the backline, a scrummy, center, winger and fullback. Look at the backline of the Bulls - you cannot compare Francois Hougaardt through to Zane Kirchner with the Stormers players. They are formidable players that not only defend, but are more focused on line-breaks and bonus-point tries. I'm a Stormers supporter, but have to agree that at this stage it looks like we're once again heading for heartbreak.

      Hugh - 2012-05-14 12:55

      Defence doesnt take much out of the players?? Ok, now I'm confused. This guy is a WP coach? Never ending tackles is easy, another day in the office. And here I thought different. Sharks suffered from no/few bonus points a few yrs ago, won their games and ended up in the middle of nowhere. WP had better learn to score some tri's or they will be DHL (reference to trophy cabinet) for a bit longer.

  • TheyTookMyNickLaZynEko - 2012-05-14 07:45

    There are far more pressing mindsets that need changing!

  • Bootman - 2012-05-14 07:48

    The Stormers have, without a doubt, the most unimaginative halfback pairing in the competition.

      Jason - 2012-05-14 07:50

      Yet we are still winning!

      Tokolos - 2012-05-14 08:08

      With the help of a lot of refs yes! Cheetahs was the better team on the night and you KNOW it!

      pieter.thefuture - 2012-05-14 08:36

      @Tokolos - on what do you base that statement on? the fact that they got a gift intercept try to make the game close? They had one good moment during the game with their first try, the rest of the game nothing, except a heck of a lucky try against the run of play.

      Japjapjap - 2012-05-14 08:55

      @pietie- moet nou ni begin moan oor di onderskep driee van vrystaat ni...90% van weepee se baie min driee is onderskep driee, vra vir JdV en habana en di force spannetji en...??

      colin.steyn.5 - 2012-05-14 09:57

      How sad to see Capetonians defending such a retarded approach to rugby !

      Stormflat - 2012-05-14 10:16

      @ Tokolos like you had the ref on your side 2yrs ago in a final against the Stormers somewhere in Soweto. Like i said to you in a previous post, stop being like a stuck vinyl record..

  • Freddie - 2012-05-14 07:49

    Some very interesting points made...As a Stormers supporter I have to tend to agree however I do feel that any championship winning game plan should be built around defensive structures. The attacking proweress in the backline such as Habana, Aplon, Pietersen, De Villiers and De Jong all have the ability to be devastating on attack..Maybe as Rob suggests a change of mind-set is required. Although there should be no compromise in terms of the defensive strategy. There were periods where the Stormers were building momentum on attack but were stung by at least one try against the run of play which probably hampered an all out attacking mind set.

      Japjapjap - 2012-05-14 09:03

      @fred- "The attacking proweress in the backline such as Habana, Aplon, Pietersen, De Villiers and De Jong all have the ability to be devastating on attack..." Om een keer 'n jaar 'n "devastating on attack" drieetji te druk is ni genoeg ni en def ni genoeg om springbok te speel ni. gaan kyk bietji di stats, hoeveel driee jo "devastating on attack" sitbokke soos de jongh ens nou di afgelope jaar gedruk het?? '2', ja freakin 2, in 2 jaar?? asb hou hierdi slaaiblare ver weg van di BlouBokke- hulle gaan di moraal, klas en karakter van di BlouBokke net aftrek??

      Stormflat - 2012-05-14 10:19

      Ja aap.. De Jongh has scored more trie sfor the Bokke is 13 tests than Olivier scored in 32 tests.. The man is class.. Aplon is class What is needed is to play to their strenghts which it seems that both Fleck and AC must take responsibilty for.

      Japjapjap - 2012-05-14 10:49

      @flatstoomer- waneer dejongh span maak, word hy saam met 14 BULLE gekies vir di bok span- baie maklik om driee te druk saam 14 briljante spelers om jo?? wanneer hulle Olivier kies, is dit in di bok B span saam 14 loser sitbokke- maklik om te sukkel tussen 14 afkop hoeders, veral as jy al di werk moet doen- diskriminasie??

      Japjapjap - 2012-05-14 10:51

      @flatstoomer- jammer oor jo karretji,.. was dit na 'n stoomers game- verstaan...

  • rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-05-14 07:51

    A direct result of Rassie's departure ... their playing pattern in 2010/2011 was getting them back on track but that has all changed with Allister's one-dimensional coaching. The 2 teams with the 2 most uninspiring coaches presented exactly such a game.

      Jason - 2012-05-14 07:53

      But we have the best winning ratio and the best defensive stats in the competition! Remember AC comes from the JW stable, Jake believed defense would win us the world cup and it did! AC believes Defense is going to be the game winning strategy come the business end of this competition. He has won 9 out of a Stormer supporter I will take that!

      Charl - 2012-05-14 08:02

      Jason super rugby and world cup is diferent

      rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-05-14 08:05

      Jason, I will obviously also take 9 out of 10 and will prefer such wins to a 5-tries-against anytime! But outscoring only the Lions will worry me because so much was "made and expected" of the Stormer backline ... an attacking flyhalf and players like de Jongh, de Villiers, Habana, Aplon and Pietersen!! There's so much "flair" there it is not even funny yet they fail to score tries .. against teams that are not known for their defense? I still think it is going to catch up with them - a team that is in front should not try to just defend their lead.

      Jason - 2012-05-14 08:08

      @Charl, actually when we get to the knock out stages, the Super Rugby is as close to an international test that you will get! Knock out rugby is tight defensive rugby, thats what the Stormers are playing!

      Jason - 2012-05-14 08:16

      @Rinus, you do have a point, but those players are under team orders, that defense comes first. JDV slated the Stormers back-line in the post match news conference. He basically said on that form none of the Stormers back-line deserved Bok colors! there is a capt taking responsibility for the back-lines poor performance!

      rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-05-14 08:27

      Jason, that's exactly why I blame Allister! Using the smallest (individual size) backline with the most flair and instructing them to play a defensive game is wrong. And I hope they listen to JdV because a number of those players will (and should) be in the Bok squad. In my honest opinion, I do not think any one of Allister, Naka, Frans Ludeke or Plumtree is really exceptional and in the Jake White, Rassie, Heyneke league. Our teams are at the top (at the moment) due to a combination of legacy coaches and raw talent. Just imagine what a Jake White would have done with the Stormer backline WITHOUT impairing their defense!

  • Harold - 2012-05-14 07:52

    The Stormers supporters and corrupt refs call it rush defense. The rest of us call it offside.

      Harold - 2012-05-14 07:58

      Top of the log. Thanks for coming.

      Jason - 2012-05-14 07:59

      The Bulls have one of the worst Defensive records in the comp, yet they are still on top........Sign of a solid team! Bulls and Stormers have different game plans........Rugby would be pretty boring if everyone played the same. As a Stormer fan I can see the Bulls for the Championship team they are.....but Bulls supporters have blinkers on and cant appreciate rugby for the great sport it is.

      Tokolos - 2012-05-14 08:00


      Koos - 2012-05-14 08:14

      Bulls are a championship team. no blinkers needed.

      Harold - 2012-05-14 08:15

      We score more points than the opposition and get bonus points.

      Stormflat - 2012-05-14 10:20

      Jason, you should drop your eighthman and your defence WILL improve.

  • MarkSchrade1980 - 2012-05-14 07:57

    I always thought the Bulls were the most boring team to watch but they have become one of the more exciting teams to watch. The most boring team has to be the Stormers!!!!! Yes, they get the results, however it won't win them the tournament.

      Koos - 2012-05-14 08:16

      Defence is overrated. You just have to score more points than the other team. It is about believe. You should believe in your ability to score tries.

      David - 2012-05-14 08:50

      I agree,they need bonus points to get into a good playoff position, if they have too go up agains the chiefs or the bulls away I dont think they will get through.

  • yb.normal2 - 2012-05-14 07:59

    The best defence is to attack. As a Stormer supporter I am also getting worried about the lack of tries scored. To reason that bonus points is not important come play-off time is wrong. Bonus points can make the difference between a home or away game. As it stands now the Bulls are topping the log thanks to their Bonus point tally. Time for the Stormers to start scoring tries.

  • Tokolos - 2012-05-14 08:04

    Stompies need a change of everything... not just mindset! They should get a new team, new coach, new personnel, new stadium, new supporters, new contracts, new everything! They will need it after this season when they CHOKE AGAIN!!!

      Master - 2012-05-14 08:08

      Hey Tokolos, we can change our mindset but we can't do anything about your face.

      Jonathan - 2012-05-14 08:56

      Tokolos agree with some of that. But we are still in with a chance. If they can start scoring tries instead of knocking on they would be far ahead of the pack. Still great teams win ugly games.If we had the personal and structures like the BULLS we would be unbeatable. Stop letting our good youngsters leaving and get rid of the dead wood.

      LaBlue - 2012-05-14 09:05

      Tokolos, jy moet regtig 'n lewe kry ou maat.

      Johann - 2012-05-14 09:57

      Why the rush of blood tokkie, are you looking for a new team to support? Why don't all the bull supporters, who are now apparently mad because the Stormers won and are still just one point behind the bulls on the log just worry about their remaining two games against the NZ landers. Just last week it was the sign of a champion side to win games they played padly, but the same does not apply to the Stormers. After winning a game from a knock-on try you should not comment on any refs ever again. I really hope all the SA teams do well and nothing would please me more than a Stormers bulls final in SA, especially when the Stormers wins. But I fear even this won't shut up tokkie an co, because all we will hear are 3 titels to one. Go Stormers

      Japjapjap - 2012-05-14 10:24

      @jhanni- "...because all we will hear are 3 titels to one."??? 3 teen 1, gits ek het daai weepee bekertji erens gemis... moet nou net ni se', jy bedoel daai c.. hahaha con.. hahaha confer.. hahaha, konfirins-koppie ni... hahahahahaha, moet se, ek geniet julle stoomers soooo baie. weepee jo leke deng

  • chris.booise - 2012-05-14 08:09

    I don't care what they say, the important thing is that the Stormers are winning games. What is better, scoring five tries and lose? Or defend well, score just one or no tries and win?

      Harold - 2012-05-14 08:19

      Just to think, one bonus point and you would've been top of the log. Now you are 4th.

      Jonathan - 2012-05-14 09:00

      Agree Chris but if the other top teams are getting the bonus points that could bite us in the end. But then again we have only one loss so that also keeps us up there.

      Henmich - 2012-05-14 09:24

      Chris! I think you and Jonathan are too desperate for a cup/trophee for us(Stormers/WP). I would rather spent money on the 5-try lost, than on a 3-penalty win. I'm paying for entertaintment.

  • Siegfried - 2012-05-14 08:22

    I feel Robbie Fleck is not necessarily the best equipped to deal with the task at hand. If our game is centred around a defensive approach, then the backline coach needs of necessity to be able to structure the game plan and backline play in such a way, which will enable the runners to break the opposition line. And here lies the problem - we ar naturally lying very flat, therefore do not have the pace of the mark to create doubt in the oppostion backline when we ran at the them. there are three ways of addressing that: 1) speed up the game by moving the ball quickly to your wings who create space (but currently our game plan is with the forwards) 2) grubber kicks through the gaps 3) sonny bill williams style - make your mid centres line breakers who make sure they pass the ball to a player running on to it. Bear in mind the chiefs played one more game than us, and we have the same points - even though they have i think 6 bonus points and way more tries! So nothing wrong with our game except, that at the business end bonus points will aid us to get a top log position, saving us the travel.

  • trevor.dean.10 - 2012-05-14 08:23

    Their back line attacks are too flat. Flat is good for forwards' attacks, but when getting the ball to the backs, they are way too flat and the result is the opposition defense is right in their faces, so there is no space or time to build up momentum, or to side-step, dummy or pass.

  • BlouMasjien - 2012-05-14 08:29

    Kyk na die foto, dit lyk of Etzebeth n spook gesien het ! Ashley Johnson?

      Japjapjap - 2012-05-14 09:37

      @blou- daai spook wat hy sien, is di verloor spook...boehoehoee, "who you wanne call- di BLOU ghostbusters'

      Papa-storm - 2012-05-14 10:11

      ag man elstadt het vir ashleytjie sommer gou op sy plek gesit

  • Marcus - 2012-05-14 08:54

    as a faithfull Stormers supporter all these years , i would agree with Rob , we need to score tries and play bit more attacking rugby, what happens if we are behind because of the bounce of the ball or may an intersept try????? would we be able to score 3 tries to win the match , at this moment i dont think so and just remember this could happen in any of the playoff games .

  • grant.butler.104 - 2012-05-14 09:00

    yes....winning ugly is a concern, better than losing ' pretty ' but hell man we got to start scoring more trys....a strange perspective , but here seems Newlands brings out the worst in the Stormers team....seem far less pressured away from home....or is it just my imagination?

      Harold - 2012-05-14 09:06

      The supporters are far less cultured than away from home.

      Nigel - 2012-05-14 10:03

      time to move them to the Cape Town Stadium, maybe then they will stop winning ugly.

      Japjapjap - 2012-05-14 10:33

      @nige- yes, maybe then they will lose ugly, of they go...

  • Spikes - 2012-05-14 09:03

    The report above is an excellent example of "waffling" Well done Rob!!

  • Edward - 2012-05-14 09:03

    As a proud stormers supporter I am a bit worried. No doubt the pay dispute also had something to do with our performance. Stormers and western province rugby has always been known for their attacking play, the players prove it when wearing green and gold. I do not believe our players are one dimensional, rather the approach. The way the defensive structures are out on the field prohibits them from playing fluid, running rugby. Game breakers like Habana and De Villiers can not play their natural game. Allistair should look at the players strong points and develop a game plan around that, kind of what Heineke Meyer did with the successful Bulls of old.

      Ren%c3%a9 - 2012-05-14 09:25

      @Edward I agree and disagree with you. 'Successful Bulls of old'???? With HM we won 1 Super Trophy with FL 2. Secondly I think the Stormers played until they ran out of money.... I think it lasted about 23 minutes???

  • Anton - 2012-05-14 09:13

    " Stormers need mindset..... " AC gaan seker sy vinger nou in sy neus druk sodat hy syy mind kan change

      Japjapjap - 2012-05-14 09:42

      @anton- lol, ...dis nou nadat hy eers 'n half-uur gesoek het...verstaan sy kop werk soos 'n pinball masjien??

  • Franco - 2012-05-14 09:17

    The Stormers were very lucky to win that game. Coenie was repeatedly penalised in the first half for putting a hand on the ground. Within the last 5 min the Stormers prop did it twice right in front of the ref. At least one of those was in ditance for a shot at goal. I'm not saying that the conversion would have been a given but the score could have been 17-16 for the Cheetahs. In the bigger scheme of things its probably better but the Stormers will have to lift their game to the next level. As for my Cheetahs......good game, but you make it extremely hard to stay loyal.

  • Emile - 2012-05-14 09:35

    Been playing boring rugby now for a couple of years. Lost their attacking ability and flair long time ago - coached out of them. We can often see when a coach has been invloved for too long with a side. I really don't think Coetzee has much more to offer the Stormers, except for more excuses. They have been rebuilding now for 11 years. Don't get me wrong - not as if they are the Lions, but it is sad to see the talent in that team playing a brand of rugby not suited for them.

  • Christo - 2012-05-14 09:44

    Jy is 100% reg Rob. My gevoel na Saterdagaand - en vererger deur die Bulle se wen en die skitterende aanvallende rygby wat die Reds gespeel het, was 'n gevoel van beklemming. Ons manne se "smoorrugby" benadering gaan nie die pyp rook teen die Bulle en die manne nie. Waar die vonk vandaag gaan kom weet ek nie maar o wee dieselfde pad as in 2011 is weer voor ons.........

  • Stephen - 2012-05-14 10:04

    I was always taught that when someone is down you keep them down. The Stormers (my team) have let too many teams back in when they had them down. The Bulls, the Cheetahs to start with we had 18-0 and 16-0 respectively but let them get back in with defence only rugby. These teams should never have been let back in and its time the coaches instill that attitude. Yes a win is a win and I would rather take Saturdays win than a loss but its the same each week and how can you build confidence if the team has a defence only mentality because of the coaching methods. Sorry but I have to agree its a repeat of the last two years and I doubt the result will differ with this approach. What if we are behind, how will defence help us then. We need an attacking game that can also get us back into games, not just hold off.

  • Jonathan Groenewald - 2012-05-14 10:05

    I always thought that the colour of the Jersey had something to do with the Stormers winning ways. We always seem to do better in white than blue. Now I realize that they just play far better away from Newlands than at Newlands,so maybe an away semi and final wouldn't be such a bad thing. As a Stormers fan,I hate going to Newlands. It sickens me when the crowd(or a certain portion that support the all blacks for political reasons) boo their fellow countrymen. No wonder they don't want to score tries. They wanna stay in the middle of the park so that they don't have to be close to their "fans"

      Harold - 2012-05-14 10:15

      It's rubbish to say that the booing comes from the All Blacks supporters. Week in and week out it's the same story at Newlands. The Stormers supporters booing the opposition when they run onto the field and when they kick for goal.

      Harold - 2012-05-14 10:27

      Ha ha ha ha ha. Classic!

      Japjapjap - 2012-05-14 10:30

      @jonatan- moet nou ni jo kroesader boeties en susies so uithaal ni...sterkte boet. di BULLE is oppad!!!

  • colin.steyn.5 - 2012-05-14 10:08

    Mr Houwing, this article is loooong overdue. I have the feeling that Mr Coetzee is the bad apple. The tone for a team's "spirit of adventure" is set by the head coach. And if AC does not believe we can score tries (and he clearly does not) it will affect the whole approach in the camp. Even a backline coach will operate within that frame. There are still people in the Eastern Cape blaming our accomplished coach for wrecking the EP game. As someone said, he may be a good assistent coach, but I do not believe he has got the positive an strategic mind that we need. The days when we did pride ourselves with a positive game seem so far away now. And it's SAD !

  • Johann - 2012-05-14 10:08

    Should I put down the personal insults towards supporters, players, coaches and refs down to the lack of knowledge about rugby or lack of intallegence? I'm happy we are still winning, but I do agree, we will have to re-think our stance on attack. At least we can't play much worse than saterday. Stormer greetings Stormer love

  • OOSTHUIZEN.GAZZA - 2012-05-14 10:39

    choke ,tokkelos julle gaam choke

      Harold - 2012-05-14 10:42

      Gaam ons choke?

      Japjapjap - 2012-05-14 10:56

      @harold- moet nou net ni se' di' kroesaders is ni snaaks ni?? geniet jy hulle ook?? wat hy einlik se is, "ons gaam weepee"?? dink ek....

      Harold - 2012-05-14 11:08

      Die kroesaders is hilarious.

  • thilo.klingenberg - 2012-05-14 10:57

    While it would be great to see the Stormers win with 4 tries or more, it is more important at this stage that they are winning. I am concerned about their conservative approach but the positive is that they are winning the tight games, something they have struggled to do in the past. It has been difficult for the Stormers to build momentum so far this season. Played 2 or 3 matches, then has a break. The two derbies, which are always tight. Then went overseas to play the in-form Highlanders (unbeaten at that stage). Also during this time they regularly lost key leaders to injury (all four players to captain the team have been out to injuries). After the close loss to the Crusaders (and they forced a penalty in the last minute to get the bonus-point - so they can score when they have to - also did against the Sharks) they then easily beat the Reds and I think if the match against the Force would not have been so drenched, we would have seen 4 or more tries from the Stormers. So, yes, they aren't playing that well and they aren't playing for 80 minutes but they are winning. Anyway, I think that the top places will only be decided after the International break and this is where the Stormers have an advantage because not so many of their players will be involved with the Boks as will Bulls and Sharks players. That being said, the two derbies coming up will give us a better idea of where the Stormers stand - bearing in mind that they are on their 4th number 8!

  • thilo.klingenberg - 2012-05-14 11:00

    Just another comment re the Bulls. Yes they are winning and scoring tries but the test will be the next three matches. They usually struggle against NZ opposition and then they have to come back and straight away play the Stormers. My prediction is that SA will have 3 teams in the top 6 with the Stormers on top and the Sharks the lowest of the 3. Then the Chiefs and the Crusaders and the Reds who now have their injured players back and can build up momentum.

      bloedisblou - 2012-05-14 14:38

      2009 bulls trash chiefs in finals with a huge score 2010 bulls trash the crusaders twice, once in the play-offs and in the semi 2012 bulls beat the crusaders, stormers are given a hiding jy is so bietjie deurmekaar ou maat, word wakker

  • Peter - 2012-05-14 11:57

    Fire Robbie Fleck who has added nothing to a Springbok laden backline. This obsession with defence will win nothing.

  • frank.williams.100 - 2012-05-14 12:00

    The Stormers have one off game now all their supporters question them? Did any of you see the Saders game? Bet the Saders supporters are not doubting their team. As for the bulls supporters, the only reason you do not like the stormers or the sharks is because you fear them. Keep commenting on how bad you thinkb jdv is but let's ask you, how good is your 12? Glory boy that cannot pass a ball. Anyways I hope all our teams do well cos that should help our teams that are closer to the play-offb spots.

      Harold - 2012-05-14 12:07

      Fear them? Seriously?

      frank.williams.100 - 2012-05-14 12:23

      Harold there are very little bulls supporters that can admit when a team/player from another team other then there own are good. The bulls supporters keep commenting on how the Stormers can't make it and yes with a performance like Saturday they need to shape up but the Bulls aren't winning convincingly either. The point is they are winning and that's what counts.

      bloedisblou - 2012-05-14 14:35

      tjom, eerste plek fear ons bulle nie daai klomp skou ponies nie. tweede plek het geskiedenis bewys jou span val uit die bus uit wanneer dit by crunch tyd kom. derdens is die stormer spelers n' klomp windfatte wat net ruk en pluk en ander spelers wil intimideer. dan wanneer die opponente hulle so bietjie boelie en hulle eie medisyne terug gee dan weet hulle wat om te doen nie want hulle game plan val uitmekaar.

  • Tjokki - 2012-05-14 21:24

    Hey rugby fans! Jean de Villiers is the most over rated player in the sport! His play rate is o. He makes no real tackle unless it is a soft tackle from the back!!! Look at all availble software and see his play rate is the lowest of all centres. Watch how many tries are scored because he is out of position! Watch how clever he stays out of real play but leans on loose scrums, hangs around in no place to make contact! He is useless! See the differance in the backline when he is not there!

  • jacques.ackermann - 2012-05-15 13:59

    the problem is not just the gameplan its from the management to the coach down to the players. the stormers has the most depth of any of the unions but yet no cups coetzee is still in charge. the normal wp flair has been replaced by this 1962 style of 9 to 10 kick attacking pattern. the problem is with this type of tactic is that it takes a lot of the players we can see with the huge amount of injuries. the coach and management is to blame for the tactics. the racist mnr wakefield made sure rassie was booted now there structures will erode over time sending them back to the medievil ages when they were stranded before rassie came to there aid. robbie fleck was the coach of a losing UCT side a couple of years back and some how found himself in the stormers coaching setup where there are far better options in south africa. just shows how the backroom politics are in the WP. the stormers caint even score in a brothel at the moment.

      jacques.ackermann - 2012-05-16 09:10

      any decent backline coach can see that the off the ball running options in the stormers backline rubbish. flat static lacklustre speed of the mark. poor speed and width on the passing ext. they stand way to close to each other and dont run towards the ball carrier. basic things that a backline coach needs to understand. i bet you 50 bucks i can coach better than ac of fleck. maybe first i need to convince the racist mnr wakefield to give me a job first

  • Alta - 2012-05-15 20:42

    Well said.I must agree the coaches are to complacent with what they have achieved and will carry on like this(eventually falling out of the top six), before they change the Game plan and play RUGBY!!!!!!!! With our backs and all other players we should be thrashing all the other sides and not pray our way to the final whistle. However, I do wish them luck and further suggest that they replace Robbie Fleck with someone with more knowledge and understanding of the game. Koos deVilliers

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