Stormers coach Allister Coetzee is hoping that the breakdown will be more strictly policed this season than it was in his team's warm-up match against the Cheetahs in which some players "got away with murder".
Coetzee was frustrated with the way that the Cheetahs were able to spoil his inexperienced team's possession down, especially as the Stormers had been reduced to 12 men in their match against the Lions last week thanks to a spate of late yellow cards for infringements at the breakdown.
He said: "Last week we got three yellow cards at the breakdown and tonight certain okes got away with murder, and maybe they could have been penalised for slowing our ball down, being offside or not rolling away on purpose.
"I know that when Super Rugby starts the refs are going to be much harsher at the breakdown."
The Stormers boss quickly dismissed suggestions that his team need an out and out openside flank to secure their own possession as he is confident that the referees will come down hard on the culprits this season.
He explained: "It has got nothing to do with having an opensider on the field if a team is just spoiling at the breakdown and you get penalised all the time. Last week we felt it and we got yellow cards and played with less players but if you keep getting penalties then it is different.
"But I am not worried because it will be officiated differently come competition time.
"He did penalise, but whether it was cynical or not is the point I am trying to make and I felt at some stages when we made a linebreak and the oke is not coming through the gate, that is being cynical after he has given penalties already," said Coetzee.
Despite the fact that his team battled to get any consistent momentum going against the Cheetahs Coetzee said that the match had been a worthwhile learning experience for some of the more inexperienced members of the squad.
"We had more try-scoring opportunities but we would lose it in that final phase. So too many errors on attack and not protecting the ball, but it is to be understood in the third game of the season with players who are keen to make an impression.
"There is nothing wrong with or big problems with the way we play, I am comfortable with where we are," he said.
The Stormers coach said that he took a lot from the warm-up fixture, and is now ready to name his 30-man Super Rugby squad after discovering which fringe players still need specific attention to be able to compete at Super Rugby level.
He said: "You can clearly see that there are players that need a bit of technical work on an individual basis. There are players who will definitely do well in Super Rugby but there are others who still need a bit of one-on-one coaching and technical work.
"The players that will be cut, it is not as if we won't fall back on those guys because we are going to need them later in the season. That is why they will be more intensely worked on a one-on-one basis," added Coetzee.
The Stormers coach revealed that he will pick a full-strength team to take on the Kings next week as they look to hit their straps ahead of the start of the season.
By Michael de Vries
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