No distractions for Stormers
The Stormers will not allow officiating and log standings to effect their preparations for the crunch clash against the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday.
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee was left frustrated following the 17-18 loss to the Blues in Auckland last weekend, which was officiated by New Zealand referee Glen Jackson.
The loss left the Cape side in 10th place on the log, six points adrift the sixth-placed Cheetahs, and while Coetzee expects to receive the standard post-match report from SANZAR Referees’ boss Lyndon Bray on Tuesday, he said the team have put the disappointment behind them.
“We’re expecting feedback from Lyndon Bray tomorrow but we’re not expecting anything more than clarity on a couple of calls and what was right and what was wrong,’ Coetzee said in Sydney on Monday.
“The fact of the matter is there’s nothing you can do other than to move on. Our next game is what’s important, so we’ve put it behind us and have moved on.
“It’s important that we learn from our mistakes and get it right this time.”
Coetzee added that panic over places in the play-offs is premature and said his team do not regard the weekend’s match as a knockout game of sorts.
“It’s still too early to focus on conference standings and overall log positions at this stage. We’re focused on one thing only and that’s this weekend’s game and beating the Waratahs,” he said.
The Waratahs produced their best performance of the season in their record 72-10 hammering of the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth last Saturday.
Fullback Israel Folau led the charge with a dazzling man of the match performance that boosted his chances of earning a place in the Wallaby squad for the British and Irish Lions series.
Folau’s attacking nous has not gone unnoticed by Coetzee, but the Stormers coach insists there will be no tweaks made to their proven defensive system to contain the League convert.
“We don’t make any special plans for any player. We stick to our systems and our structures, will respect it more this week and make sure we make our one-on-one tackles,” said Coetzee.
Other than lock De Kock Steenkamp, who sustained a sternum injury at the weekend, Coetzee will have a fully fit squad available for selection. Coetzee, however, suggested that he would largely stick to the team – and front row – who did duty in Auckland against the formidable Waratahs scrum.
“We looked at the scrums again and I’m really pleased with that aspect. Continuity will be very important and one just have to have common sense [in team selection],” said Coetzee.