Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has admitted that his side was tactically naive in the face of a clinical performance by the Crusaders in their Super Rugby semifinal at Newlands on Saturday. De Villiers: We were outclassed | Reds' defence wins the day
Coetzee explained that the Stormers' failure to play in the right areas of the field made it easier for the Crusaders who were only to happy to feed off the numerous errors made by the home team to canter to victory and book a spot in the Final next week.
The Stormers boss told rugby365.com: "I think it was quite an impressive performance by the Crusaders and we take it on the chin. They were outstanding tonight and yet again I think we were a bit tactically naive.
"We played a bit too much rugby in our own half again and that wasn't the plan but they exploited it well and points obviously came again through turnovers which they capitalised on," he added.
Coetzee said that the statistics backed up his assessment that the Crusaders had won the territorial battle hands down, which proved decisive in the difficult conditions.
He commented: "If you look at the stats - at half-time they had made 70 tackles and we had only made 20 which means that we played too much rugby in territory or areas of the field where we weren't supposed to really play.
"If you look at the conditions as well, we had planned that we would kick a bit more than usual and unfortunately it didn't happen that way so I think once again it is yet another learning experience for us," said Coetzee.
The Crusaders' scrum has put every team they have played against this season under pressure and their ascendency in that area coupled with a rock solid defence forced the Stormers into making simple mistakes as they desperately tried to turn the tide.
"They scrummed really well, they were highly competitive at the breakdown and we made elementary mistakes which cost us. If you look at the way we structured our kicking game and the way we started playing rugby early on, trying to move the ball - that cost us, " said the Stormers coach.
Coetzee lamented the injuries suffered in key positions this year and admitted that the Stormers need better, and more experienced, depth if they are going to end the trophy drought in the Cape.
He said: "It was really tough to lose Dewaldt Duvenage, he is an experienced player who has been in situations like this and it is a vital position which is instrumental in the way we want to play the kicking game.
"If you look at the players we have lost in key positions like flyhalf, scrumhalf and flank. It is no excuse but I am saying just put it in perspective. I think it is important that we get quality in terms of depth in certain positions." he added.
However, the Stormers mentor does not seem to think that signing experienced players is the answer, and believes that giving youngsters in the system more experience is the way forward.
He explained: "We are of the opinion that we are going to grow our own quality from inside and try and give those guys the necessary experience. The Bulls have been there for years because they have got quality off the bench and in key positions we still don't have that quality.
"I don't think I will be pushed by the emotions of the people out there. I know that we are all disappointed that we are not winning trophies but it has got to be a balance. Yes, in certain positions we do need experience and depth but take nothing away from the learning process and experience the youngsters picked up this year," said Coetzee.
The Stormers have stumbled in quite a few high-profile knock-out matches in the last two years, but Coetzee was at pains to stress that patience and consistency are vital if they want to see some silverware in the trophy cabinet.
"We are at that tipping point and it is important that we keep believing in our systems and our structures.
"I still think that it has been a good season, with the situations we have been put in - there is character and work ethic here but you have got no control over injuries. Once you build a squad of about 40 players and everything is covered then I am sure trophies will come.
"I don't think it was a matter of stage fright, we understand the expectations are high but if you are beaten at scrum-time and make a lot of elementary mistakes obviously it won't go your way," he said.
By Michael de Vries
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The Barbarians are one of the top invitational rugby sides with a long history and classic rugby jersey.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Lions get ready for their matches with this green training jersey. It's what the players wear. Get in the Gear!
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The Lions are ready to get their Australia tour underway. They arrive in Perth on Monday.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.