Cape Town – The Stormers have a battle on their hands on Saturday, admits head coach Allister Coetzee, as they attempt to hand Australian outfit the Brumbies their first defeat of the Super Rugby season.
The Stormers go into the match with a fair amount of self-assurance after they shaded defending champions the Chiefs in Cape Town last week, snapping a two-match losing streak with a close-shave two-point victory.
The hosts showed an all-round improvement, but the Brumbies are expected to offer a vastly different test, and they will be hugely challenged in their attempt to secure back-to-back wins at Newlands.
“We are anticipating that there will be a lot of pressure in the game and we want to make sure there is accuracy in our systems,” said Coetzee, who served as Brumbies coach Jake White's assistant with the Sprinboks between 2004 and 2007.
“There will be a massive battle for the gain line and it's important not to give yards away.
“You can't underestimate the Brumbies at the breakdown because we've seen how well they recycle ball, and how well they hold on to the ball.
“They are also accurate and when all of that comes together their opponents will battle to lay hands on the ball.”
The Australian visitors, currently the only unbeaten Super Rugby side, alerted the Stormers to their potency when they overwhelmed the Sharks in Durban last week.
White, however, believed there was still room for improvement.
“Since the beginning of our season the aim has been to win every game we play,” White said.
“That's the mentality we have to bring on Saturday evening if we are going to give ourselves a chance of beating the Stormers.
“Last week's first-half performance (against the Sharks) was fantastic, but I'd like to see our guys build on that this week and continue to apply that sort of pressure for the entire match.
“It's no secret that the Stormers defence is up there with the best in the world and with players like Jean (de Villiers) and Juan de Jongh they can attack from anywhere too. This will be our biggest test so far this season.” – Sapa