CAPE TOWN - Stormers assistant coach Paul Feeney says they need to get back to playing with more width on attack.
The Stormers have scored some good tries in the 2018 competition, with some of those impressive five-pointers coming against the Blues and the Reds at Newlands in the last two weeks.
But Feeney wants to see more of the glimpses of expansive play the Stormers showed last year, and although he’d liked to see a bit more flair, he added that seeing their forwards have their way with ball in hand also makes for a good viewing.
“We have to get back to playing with more width. We haven’t played as expansively as we did last year. We’ve been more forward dominant and gone down the middle a lot,” the coach in charge of the Stormers’ unstructured attack and defence said.
“We scored four tries against the Crusaders and they came from three props and a lock so it’s not quite the flair of last year is it? But the highlight is how well some of our forwards are carrying which is a plus for us.
“Against the Blues the backs scored four tries and against the Reds the backs combined for some good tries too. Every team will leave a few opportunities out there because it’s not easy and sometimes you have to take your hat off to the defence because that’s what they are training to do.”
Against the Reds, the Stormers scored a stunning try through Dewaldt Duvenage - which came after the backs held and timed their passes to perfection on the counter-attack before sending the ball to the scrumhalf. Raymond Rhule’s try after Craig Barry’s top grubber in opposition 22 was also quite special.
But that magic didn’t flow into the second half, as the mistakes started creeping in from and they weren’t able to convert several of their chances in the attack zone into points.
And while Feeney was frustrated with the mistakes following the game, he believes that those mistakes will become less frequent and that good decision-making will become natural with repetition.
“Some days are better than others for whatever reason - the opposition has put too much pressure on you or you were running too fast and cut down your time to think and to make a decision and you make a mistake” Feeney said.
“So in training we constantly work on repetition so that it can all come naturally. If you haven’t played 30 40 Super Rugby games you have a long way to go. I consider that the threshold to finding your feet and some of our younger backs are new to this level of rugby and they are tasked with being the decision-makers. I understand when they don’t see the occasional chance.”