Investec Stormers need to regroup

PUBLISHED: March 13, 2005

The Investec Stormers will have to regroup after Friday’s disappointing 22-19 defeat at the hands of the Brumbies in Canberra before tackling the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday.

The Stormers now must use the game against the Waratahs, who trounced the Cats on Saturday after also beating the Sharks the previous week, and the last one against the Hurricanes, to get their campaign back on track.

The Stormers leadership blamed poor discipline for the defeat. Coach Gert Smal said they worked hard in their preparation for that game.

“Our preparation this week has been excellent. We had some good training sessions and our planning for this game was spot-on. And then discipline cost us the game. I am not happy at all.”

Smal planned to have a meeting with his management team and senior players to discuss matters. “We need to discuss this issue urgently,” he said with reference to the unnecessary penalties his charges had conceded.

Smal was, however, not ready to throw in the towel yet. “The players know we could have won this one – just like last week in Invercargill. At least we have three league points to show for our trouble.”

“It is much more difficult to keep players motivated when they’ve put in everything, but don’t get any reward for it.”

Schalk Burger was outstanding for the Stormers after traveling from London where he played in a match in aid of the victims of the Tsunami. Not even spending 22 hours on an airplane could dampen the blonde flank’s spirit and he fought courageously to ensure a victory for his side.

He believes that the Stormers still have a lot to play for. “I think we will be very happy if we can return home with about 11 points. The Waratahs have to tackle the long trip back to Sydney still and they will not be at their sharpest on Saturday.”

Burger also blamed a lack of discipline for the defeat. “Our discipline was poor. That spoiled everything,” he summed up matters.

Captain Neil de Kock agreed with Burger and Smal. He described the result as a lost opportunity. “We have to be disappointed to come away with only one point from that. Our discipline simply let us down and we played too wide too soon.”