Stormers coach Allister Coetzee wants revenge by beating the Crusaders in Christchurch this season, writes JEREMY PROOME.
Coetzee emphasised that they will take the campaign week by week, but there is one fixture that has an added aura around it.
‘We’d love to beat the Crusaders in Christchurch. It’s not an easy thing to do, but we’d love to get one over them on their home ground,' Coetzee told SARugbymag.co.za.
The Crusaders outmuscled the Stormers 19-14 in Cape Town last year, and it hurt the Stormers, who pride themselves on their defensive capabilities.
‘They were the only team to beat us at Newlands last year, so getting one back at them would be a nice touch,’ added the coach.
That said, the Stormers’ first foreign opposition will be the Hurricanes – a team that has a number of new faces this year, including new flyhalf sensation Marty Banks – who are always a challenge for any coach.
‘It’s always difficult to play against a team, or players, who you have nothing on,’ Coetzee said. ‘So the focus is then placed on what we can do and rather focus on bettering our game rather than trying to counter new players’ individual skills.’
With regards to new recruits, the Stormers have some fresh faces themselves, most notably Argentinian international lock Manuel Carizza.
Coetzee was asked whether Carizza was already bringing his experience and something new to the side.
‘Manuel is fitting in nicely and is still getting familiar with the Stormers structures and our training systems. His English is great and he will bring his lineout speciality experience to the table once he’s a little more familiar with the guys around him.’
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images