The Investec Stormers were happy to take four points from their opening Super 12 match against the Sharks at Newlands on Friday night, but they were certainly not satisfied with the performance.
Coach Gert Smal as well as captain Neil de Kock bemoaned the fact that they couldn’t score the fourth try to clinch the bonus point in the 26-12 victory. The Stormers left Cape Town on Saturday for the taxing overseas leg of their campaign, which kicks off with a game against the Highlanders in Dunedin.
Smal said he was happy that they could start the season with a win. “It is quite important before the overseas tour to get a win behind you, although we are fairly disappointed in our performance.
“I think the fourth try was up for grabs, but nevertheless, we are glad to come away with a win. We are looking forward to playing on tour, although we are not happy with the performance.”
De Kock concurred. “I think the Sharks did manage to disrupt us. We spoke at halftime. Gert spoke to us about being more patient, just taking the ball through more phases.
“I think particularly in the first half we tried to make too many 50/50 passes, perhaps tried to break the defence after two, three phases whereas we came out in the second half and tried to string a few phases together, to get in behind them and after seven, eight phases try to break their defence.
“They managed to disrupt us at lineout time quite a bit. All credit to them, they came out and wanted to disrupt us and they disrupted us pretty much. Like Gert said, we are quite disappointed with our overall performance and particularly not getting the fourth try.”
Kevin Putt, the Sharks coach, was full of praise for the victors on the night. “You have got to give credit to the Stormers. They deserved to win the game. They are a near full Springbok team and I thought they were deserving of the four points.”
All the Stormers tries came from broken play, but De Kock emphasized that he was not too worried about the side’s ability to score from first phase in the weeks to come. “It is probably that we are able to score from broken play.
“We didn’t get many opportunities though. I would like to look at the video how many times we ran our set moves towards the Sharks. We didn’t give too much away. If we ran three, four moves today, it was a lot. But I have no concerns over us breaking the first line defence from set moves in the weeks to come.”
The Stormers will be without Springbok flank Schalk Burger on Saturday. The flank has been released to play in the game in London on Saturday in aid of the Tsunami victims, but he suffered a badly bruised thigh on Friday night. The Stormers have requested the medical team in London to closely monitor the blonde star’s recovery.
Prop Eddie Andrews suffered a facial cut that needed stitches, but according to Smal it is nothing to worry about. The coach also expressed hopes that flyhalf Chris Rossouw and wing Tondrai Chavhanga would be ready to be considered for Saturday’s game.
Investec Stormers touring squad:
De Wet Barry
Gaffie Du Toit
Jean De Villiers
Joe Van Niekerk
Neil De Kock
Schalk Burger (Initially to Tsunami match)
Players Not Included: