Schalk Brits says the Stormers’ lack of set-piece dominance in the Super 14 is nothing more than a perception and he believes they’ve made steady progress in this department.
Ebrahim Moerat writes for Rugby 365 that their tight five, particularly the scrummaging, has for long been labelled as the soft underbelly with Saracens’ Eddie Jones also slamming the Stormers’ scrum after their recent Super 14 pre-season warm-up.
However, Brits is adamant that that their ‘weak’ scrum is nothing more than a perception and he stressed that they have improved in this facet of their play.
“We feel great when we’re out on the field and I think our [weak scrum] is just a perception.” Brits told rugby365.com during a break in training at the High Performance Centre in Bellville.
“It does not help to keep talking about it. We can only try and do better on the field but people will always have their own opinions about it.”
The Stormers also lost a couple of line-outs in crucial areas against the Sharks but Brits is not too concerned about this phase ahead of their clash against Reds or the remainder of the tournament for that matter.
“We lost a few line-outs because of bad throw-ins and there was a bit of miscommunication between hooker and locks,” Brits explained.
“But we have discussed these mistakes and hopefully it won’t happen again.
“At this stage of the season it does take time to get these things right, no matter how much you’ve trained it in the pre-season.”
Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus also believes there is nothing wrong with the set-pieces and he highlighted the statistics from the Sharks encounter.
“What’s interesting about these perceptions is that against the Sharks we had five scrums and won all our ball and they had 10 scrums and won all their ball,” Erasmus said.
“We also won 68 percent of our line-outs and they won 40 percent of their ball, so who was the best in the set-phases?”
“That’s why we can’t work with perceptions we have to work with the facts and try and to improve on that.”
While both the Stormers and the Reds suffered first round losses, Erasmus is mindful of the perception of the Reds being one of the weaker outfits in this year’s Super 14.
“We can’t go into this game on the perception that the Reds are a weak side,” he said.
“They have a great backline and some very good game-breakers in guys like [Digby] Ioane and Quade Cooper.
“They also have five or six current Wallabies in their squad and if that means they are a weak side then that perception of the Reds is also wrong.”Tweet