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If It ain’t broke, don’t fix it

Written by Clayton Saville (Clayton(PJLD))

Posted in :Original Content, Stormers, Super Rugby on 16 Mar 2015 at 10:56
Tagged with : , , ,

Words so often thrown about but apparently not often enough around the Stormers management team.

The DHL Stormers were in a good position to go 5 wins from 5 games leading into their bye weekend, yes they had the Chiefs in town but when weighing everything up the scales tipped ever so slightly in the way of the home team. Home advantage, a scorcher of a day, momentum and pack of forwards dead set on playing “hulk smash” on everything in front of them should all have set the Allister Coetzee’s men up for a memorable win against a top outfit but it was not to be.

When Coetzee named his squad on Thursday there was a sense of excitement at the naming of Kurt Coleman at flyhalf with Louis Schreuder in the number 9 jumper although I myself seriously questioned the move. Coetzee, a member of Jake White’s Springbok team was part of the “continuity in selection” brigade. It was a term bandied about whenever there was a member of the press core around and a policy that was a far cry from the previous regime.

It would seem that perhaps Coetzee was not that big a disciple after all or he just has incredibly itchy fingers because why on earth would he change his half back and therefore his game plan for such an important fixture. It would have been understandable had this been an away game at the end of a long tour but I have attended press conferences for 9 years now and have heard “ you simply have to win your home games” more times than I care to remember. Every year the Stormers contend with a monumental amount of injuries , a cruel trend that has been 6 years in the making and perhaps this is why the change was made, just because it was there.

Schreuder and Coleman as combination failed to get the Stormers into the right areas of the field, Schreuder unable to get the ball out of the rucks quickly and Coleman failing dismally with his tactical kicking. All this while Duane Vermuelen , Vincent Koch and Steven Kitshoff were smashing the stuffing out of anything in a chiefs jersey, Chiefs supporters in the stands were said to be moving a few rows back lest they be confused for an opposition player.

Another of the confusing calls was the one to replace the Stormers front row on the 60 minute mark, at that point the Chiefs had taken the lead but were still being penalised heavily at scrum time. At the break Louis de Villiers from Rapport joked that the best way to win this game would be to “ get the donnerse ball into the Chiefs half, knock it on and then win the scrum penalty, from there take f@#1ng points” such was the scrum dominance provided by Kitshoff, Ntubeni and Koch, their replacements however could not replicate and the tables were then turned.

After the match Coetzee stated that his side were “ beaten by a better team on the day” and while it is true it need not to have been that way, an extremely poor selection decision handicapped his own team and robbed them of vital confidence going into their overseas tour. Another online publication stated that the loss as putting the Stormers on a slide back into old habits, I certainly hope this is not the case and that the loss would serve as a brutal wake up call that there is no place for sentiment in the game and that accurate tactical kicking is not to gambled with. In Groom and Catrakilis they have the tools to play the necessary game behind a pack providing the much loved clean ball


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