‘Stormers attack needs quicker ball’

Six former players and a coach on why the Stormers have only been able to claim one try-scoring bonus point in 13 matches this Vodacom Super Rugby season.

Corne Krigé (former Bok flanker)

It’s difficult to say why, because they have exciting players with try-scoring ability. Sometimes it’s just a mindset that you only focus on winning, and don’t worry about the bonus point. If you have a great kicker you also tend to go for the certain three points more often.'

John Mitchell (former All Blacks coach)

'They create plenty of opportunities, and it comes down to details in their attacking framework that are missing. It’s difficult to change things while in a competition without creating confusion, so they can only benefit from a change in attacking framework in the next pre-season. They have to allow more men to overload and provide quicker ball to their attack.'

Werner Swanepoel (former Bok scrumhalf)

'They’re playing winning rugby and not focusing on bonus points. They get into positions to collect that fourth try, but just can’t seem to. They have a conservative style, but with the attacking quality of their backs they should be giving the ball more air. We’re getting to the playoff stages now, though, and you’ll be judged by placing, not bonus points.'

Rob Louw (former Bok flank)

'They are struggling to score tries because of the negative mindsets of the coaches the past few years. They just want to win. Winning easily and handsomely is not an option. The Stormers have forgotten how to counter-attack. Some of the New Zealand teams' best tries come from turnover ball inside their own half. The Bulls haven't changed their game much, but if you look at Jesse Kriel it's clear that they are trying to find a balance between kicking and running the ball. It's time the Stormers did the same. I hope [director of rugby] Gert Smal encourages the new coaching staff to shift the players' focus to attack. It may take a while before they discard their defence-oriented structures.'

Braam van Straaten (former Bok flyhalf)

'The tries aren't forthcoming because they don't have enough numbers on attack and don't create enough one-on-ones. Creativity, vision and the inability to play the situation is the problem.The attack is flat because players are programmed to carry the ball into a defender instead of the space on the weak inside shoulder. The Stormers must learn to play what they see in front of them.'

Wayne Fyvie (former Bok flank)

'The Stormers have always played forceful rugby. They don't have one-off runners and that stalls their go-forward momentum. I don't know the exact statistics, but they must be up there as the team that scores three tries per match the most. I guess while they are winning it doesn't matter, but when you aren't playing well those four-try bonus points can make a difference at the end of the season. The coaches and players believe they are on top of their game despite the lack of tries, so they won't change their brand of rugby. Once the new coach takes over, then we'll see a change. The Stormers have the most potent backline in South Africa, they need the freedom to express themselves.'

Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images