Stormers paying with penalties
Stupid infringements must be tackled if Cape-based side are to flourish
STORMERS assistant coach Paul Feeney says the Stormers can’t afford to concede any “dumb penalties” against the Sunwolves at Newlands on Saturday.
In their 40-34 win over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein at the weekend, both teams conceded a number of penalties, and referee Jaco van Heerden issued three yellow cards and two red cards during the fixture.
And while Feeney said that yellow cards should also be avoided, it’s the “dumb penalties” that the Stormers will have to cut down on.
“With some penalties you have a go and it’s up to the referee’s interpretation, but being a metre offside … you saw with the (British and Irish) Lions game, one of the players was offside twice by a maul and it could have cost him the whole game. Or not rolling away. Those are what I call dumb penalties.”
“You just can’t afford it. Our discipline is going to be big a focus. You’re not going to win big rugby games if you’re playing with 14 men. We have to make sure that we’ve got 15 men for 80 minutes. You can’t afford a yellow card. Look how many points were scored on Saturday when either they had a yellow card or we had a yellow card.”
On a more positive note, Feeney also praised the Stormers’ attacking efforts, and although he admitted that they were “a bit rusty” in certain areas, he was also happy with their defence.
“It was pleasing to come back after the break and score six tries. We scored some good tries from broken play and counter-attack, and we used the width of the field. The boys went out and gave the ball a bit of air, so that was pleasing.”
“I think we were a bit rusty in a few areas. In the last 15 minutes our defence stepped up another gear and that showed that the boys really wanted to make it happen.”
On the injury front, the return of Springbok centre Damian de Allende to full training after recovering from a quad injury, is a timely midfield boost following injuries to Bok centre Juan de Jongh (concussion) AUCKLAND: The All Blacks are chomping at the bit to get back out on the pitch and avenge only their fifth loss in more than six years against the British and Irish Lions on Saturday.
Scrumhalf Aaron Smith and lock Brodie Retallick both said they would have been happy to put on their boots yesterday, so desperate were they to put wrong the rights of the 24-21 defeat last weekend.
They will, of course, have to wait until Eden Park to get stuck into the tourists again in a winner-takes-all deciding third Test at their Auckland fortress. and former Highlander Shaun Treeby (rib injury) at the weekend.
Fullback SP Marais will also miss out on the match after landing awkwardly.
Props Oli Kebble (thigh) and Ali Vermaak (calf) are still recovering from their respective injuries, and both players face a race against time to be fit for the Super Rugby quarter-finals.