Stormers aren’t operating at the level they could be, says Levy
CAPE TOWN – Slotting those kicks at goal is of course something the Stormers will want to do better in their Super Rugby meeting with the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday, but operating more smoothly on attack is no doubt a goal as well.
Speaking at the High Performance Centre in Bellville yesterday, Stormers assistant coach Labeeb Levy addressed those work-ons that appeared in their 13-0 win against the Bulls at the weekend.
After the win at Newlands, head coach John Dobson spoke about the Stormers’ plan on attack and how he thinks they can still improve a lot, saying that at the moment they are operating at about 30 or 40 percent and that it is an area they want to function better on the Johannesburg pitch.
“We haven’t hit full straps yet in terms of how we want to play and in terms of what we’ve been training. Fortunately the defence has kept a clean sheet, but this week we want to play a bit more rugby,” Levy said.
The Stormers were impressively clean in their Superhero Sunday test against the Sharks and their 27-0 drubbing of the Hurricanes, keeping their penalty count low in both matches, but against the Bulls, it wasn’t the case.
Those errors made it hard to build phases and have an abundance of chances with the ball.
“We’re looking to improve on certain aspects of our game; attack is one of it and we also need to cut down our errors, but that’s fixable,” the Stormers skills coach and technical analyst said.
“We can make better decisions on attack, we know we’re not operating at the level we could be operating at and that’s also a positive, we can get better.”
The Stormers’ goal-kicking was a concern against the Bulls, with two penalty kicks and two conversions going astray.
Fullback Dillyn Leyds was put behind the tee after Damian Willemse missed a few attempts, but Levy reassured the media that the young flyhalf would be putting in the work in front of the posts this week.
“Gareth (Wright; kicking coach) will definitely be putting in some extra time with Damian. The previous week he actually had a slight foot (injury), he was still recovering from it, but he had recovered from it (heading into the weekend),” Levy said.
With that long-range attempt, which Willemse missed, going for the corner wouldn’t have been a bad choice, but Levy explained that they try to leave some of the decision-making to the guys on the field.
“In one or two instances we should probably have gone for the line, but the coaching group leaves it up to the players to make those decisions, posts versus line,” Levy said.
“Kitsie (Steven Kitshoff; captain) maybe felt that he needed to give his pack a break, so he asked Damian if he could take it. Maybe there we can guide the leadership a bit better and allow Damian to spend more time training his kicks and manage when to go for goal. Dillyn will also know now that he has to be on point because he might have to kick as well.
“Players don’t want to hear ‘do this lineout’ every time, but when it comes to the big decisions I think we can maybe influence it a bit more without disempowering the leadership, especially with Siya (Kolisi) not being there.”@WynonaLouw