fast little loans
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said this week that “You can’t operate without a proper set-piece” in explaining some of his team’s problems after two Super Rugby defeats.
With defending champions the Chiefs in town, we asked Stormers forwards coach Matthew Proudfoot a few pointed questions yesterday.
1 Can Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe avoid scrum
We have identified areas that we need to work on. I think that there was an improvement against the Sharks, but it was still not good enough. That’s the bottom line – you can’t go into a major international competition and your set-piece isn’t secure. In terms of the issues in the scrums, I think it has a lot to do with the speed of our engagement, and we are working quite hard on that. It’s too slow.
I don’t speak about the referees because you’ve got a second to make that call (Jaco Peyper, who was in charge of the Bulls-Stormers game, will be the man with the whistle at Newlands on Saturday). There are certain things, other than the calls, that we are discussing with the referees that we feel we need to clarify. With the calling, he makes the call on what he sees. So, we are working on what we think we need to on the set-phase to make it better. We want a strong set-phase.
Kitsie’s posture improved a lot, but not enough, though. I think that maybe one of his penalties was down to a bad habit slipping in, but I definitely did see some improvement there. The key with the speed of the engagement is that it will aid in the posture as well, as he will get into a better position quicker.
I have seen a big improvement in Frans this season, which has been great. For a 22-year-old player, there are still certain things that you will work on. But it was a lot better from him. The quicker engagement will aid him as he is 6ft 3in – he’s a tall guy.
2 The lineouts were improved against the Sharks, but is Deon Fourie a hooker or flank?
I thought that the lineout was a lot better, but the delivery to nine wasn’t very crisp. We are working hard on that. I think that Deon is performing well. We are working on the consistency of his throw. But what was better for me against the Sharks was the timing of our lifters. I still think that we are taking too long to get off the ground, which allowed the Sharks time to get their jumpers up. That’s where the contest occurred in the air.
Deon is the starting hooker, and that’s all that’s important. That is where we are picking him and where he needs to perform for the team. Tiaan is also looking good.
3 Why does Rynhardt Elstadt drop his shoulder into defenders and run upright?
We worked on that after the Bulls game. I thought that Rynhardt had an exceptional game against the Sharks. Physically, I thought that he was good – he put a lot of physicality into that game. (Jean) Deysel turned us over once or twice on the ground, which was really effective.
But I think that Duane had a fantastic game, Rynhardt had a fantastic game physically. The nature of that game was that it was a physical-attrition game, and it suited those two types of guys. They played well.
We use Rynhardt in a role to get us momentum, which is what we’ve worked on. The crowd are getting behind the guys with the feet – Siya has great feet, and Nizaam has great feet, Andries has great feet. We look to them to get in behind the defence, but we want Rynhardt to get momentum for us.
4 Has Siya Kolisi been quiet and gone off the boil?
Siya is a senior player and must play like one, but he is still a young guy. He brings enthusiasm to the team and great energy. I think we must look at him in that way, and not place expectation on him. I don’t want that typical thing of people saying “He’s not what he was last year” and “It’s his second year”. I don’t want that equation to be put on him.
I think Siya is fantastic for this team – he delivers, he plays with a massive heart. I’m happy. Of course we want more from him, like any coach wants from any player. I disagree with the notion that he is not at the same level of last year. He is delivering what we want from him for this team. It is natural to want more from every player. But to say that he is quiet is unfair.
5 What do you make of the Chiefs pack?
If you watched them against the Highlanders in their first game, they were impressive in the scrums. So, I don’t think we should take them lightly. (Brodie) Retallick is a massive man, and both locks are good lineout forwards. They use (Liam) Messam extensively as their go-to option in the lineout, as he is a very quick jumper.
The problem with them is that because they are such a good first-phase striking team, if you get it wrong at contesting time, you are giving them good ball. So, we have to be very careful of when and where we attack their lineout. They are a good side, and how robust they are impresses me no end.
Friday: Wellington: Hurricanes v Crusaders (8.35am), Melbourne:
Rebels v Reds (10.40am).
Saturday: Invercargill: Highlanders v Cheetahs (8.35am), Canberra: Brumbies v Waratahs (10.40am), Newlands: Stormers v Chiefs (5.05pm), Port Elizabeth: Southern Kings v Sharks (7.10pm).
Sunday: Auckland: Blues v Bulls (5.05am). - Cape Times