The Stormers will have to outscore the Highlanders. Photo: Nic Bothma/EPA
Ahead of their game against the Crusaders, Stormers coach Robbie Fleck said they would have to outscore the Kiwis if they wanted the win.

They didn’t manage to do that. They scored one while the Crusaders ran in three to secure a 19-all draw.

After the game, when asked what the Stormers are still going to have to do to go all the way, back-to-back title-winning coach Scott Robertson also emphasised the five-pointer and said they would have to score more tries.

The Stormers are at the bottom of the South African conference. They can still qualify for the play-offs though, but that will require that they win at least three of their remaining four games and, of course, a bonus point will help their chances.

The Stormers have scored just 23 tries this season, the least in the competition, and while they have to cross the tryline more, how the Stormers go about getting there is key.

Against the Crusaders, they produced a big performance at Newlands. It was an effort built around strong defence - their scramble defence was particularly impressive - while their scrummaging was also decent.

While the Crusaders came back, the Stormers didn’t fade despite a second-half awakening from the visitors.

That was good. But more will be needed today against the Highlanders (kick-off 3.05pm).

The Stormers have created opportunities, but the finishing has been lacking.

Their shape on attack has contributed to that, and their backline - while there have been some top individual showings - hasn’t exactly fired.

Against the Crusaders, the Stormers’ line-out variation - which saw them play the ball off the top - led to a beautiful flat pass by Josh Stander before Siya Kolisi hit a gap and ran through to score their only try.

That was good and it can bring an element of unpredictability. But another area where they can add some variety is their maul.

It was an area where the Crusaders did well to read and defend their play last week.

Everything else will also apply today... a strong set-piece effort, solid work at the breakdown and a sustained effort.

And while scoring tries should be the method to winning, there’s also going to have to be consistency when it comes to all other things in between, otherwise we might not see those tries come any time soon.

Teams

Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Josh Stander, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Jaco Coetzee, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit (50th Stormers cap), 6 Siya Kolisi (capt), 5 Cobus Wiese, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Kobus van Dyk, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 23 Dan Kriel

Highlanders: 15 Matt Faddes, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Patelesio Tomkinson, 11 Jordan Hyland, 10 Josh Ioane, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Elliot Dixon, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Luke Whitelock (capt), 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Pari Pari Parkinson, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown

Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Ayden Johnstone, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Josh Dickson, 20 Shannon Frizell, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Marty Banks, 23 Thomas Umaga-Jensen

@WynonaLouw


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