Cape Town – The Stormers are capable of mending the shortcomings which contributed to their defeat at Loftus Versfeld at the weekend, according to head coach Allister Coetzee.
Coetzee said on Monday that a sequence of mistakes early in the first half had caused a ripple effect against the Bulls and the Western Cape side were unable to recover in their opening match of the Super Rugby campaign.
“We hate losing and it doesn't matter if we're playing away from home,” Coetzee said.
“We were disappointed with the way we started the game and that's where we, in the final analysis, also lost the game.
“You will lose matches in this competition but on Friday the early mistakes had a ripple effect and thereafter we didn't get things on track again.”
Coetzee said the Sharks, who beat the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday, would make it difficult for his team to make major improvements in Durban on Saturday.
“The Sharks were really impressive against a good Cheetahs side, and one can expect them to lift them to lift their game because they're at home,” Coetzee said.
“There are things that are fixable and we'll start with the obvious of kicking over penalties.
“Players need to take ownership and they will have to pitch with the necessary desire.”
Peter Grant, the Stormers' ace place-kicker, has finished his club rugby stint in Japan, and trained with the squad on Monday.
And while Elton Jantjies had a nightmare outing at Loftus, it remained unlikely that Grant would land a run-on berth against the Sharks.
“As a coach I have to remain level-headed and I realise that (Friday's match) was not a semi-final or a final, and at this stage of the season there will be mistakes,” Coetzee said.
“I'm happy to give players another chance, knowing that if they come up short again, there are other players to call on.
“Peter Grant could be playing off the bench because he still needs to learn how we play. We've changed a bit from when last he was with us.
“As for Elton, he cannot be judged on his place-kicking alone because he's a quality player.”
Fullback Jaco Taute has been ruled out of action this week after picking up an injury against the Bulls.
“Jaco is in hospital with a testicle injury and he's been kept there for observation as a precaution,” Coetzee said.
He added that centre Juan de Jongh, returning from a hamstring injury, would have a fitness test on Tuesday before he made a selection call. – Sapa