Storm­ers pay­ing with penal­ties

Stupid in­fringe­ments must be tack­led if Cape-based side are to flour­ish

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - WYNONA LOUW

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.

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