Tackle-and-hope approach for Stormers against Crusaders
SUPER RUGBY SPOTLIGHT: The Stormers don’t have the firepower to match the Crusaders on the field so they will be going with the old South African approach against Kiwi teams – tackle and hope.
That was the message from Stormers defence coach Norman Laker ahead of Saturday’s match at Newlands.
The Crusaders are the leading try scorers in the competition with 55 and the Stormers are on the other end of the spectrum with just 22 tries from their 11 games.
The Stormers are too predictable with ball in hand and they will find it difficult to score tries against the defending champions.
That is why a strong defence and living off the Crusaders’ mistakes will be their approach this weekend.
It nearly worked for the Sharks in Round 12 when Robert du Preez’s side drew 21-21 with the Crusaders.
“I think the main thing is to focus on ourselves and play to our strengths,” Laker told reporters at the team’s base in Bellville.
“As South Africans, we pride ourselves defensively and we have ball carriers to get us over the gain line, so I don’t think we must go away from that and play their [Crusaders] rugby.
“Look at what the Boks did in Wellington [against the All Blacks] – 80 percent of the time they were defending and they came away with the win, so it’s important that you stay strong defensively and when you do have opportunities you make sure you score from those opportunities.”
Things have not gone to plan for the Stormers in terms of results this season, but Laker believes his team’s defence is one area of positivity.
“We pride ourselves on our defence and it has been going well this season.
“Normally if the defence is good then you get the results but, in this case, it has not been like that.
“We have come short on a few occasions by five or six points and the team has actually played well and defended well but importantly the ball is not round and the bounce of the ball did not go our way,” Laker added.
By Warren Fortune