Stormers forwards coach Matthew Proudfoot believes that a powerful display up front and accuracy at the breakdown will be key if his side is to deal effectively with the Sharks at Newlands this weekend.
Proudfoot was impressed with the way that the Bulls managed to pressurise the Sharks in the set-phases last week and said that his team will look to put the Durban side on the back foot and keep them there when the teams clash on Saturday.
He told this website: "The Sharks are a very dangerous team, if you let them free then you are going to chase the game. So I think what the Bulls did was try to attack their set-phase and starve them which they did well for 70 minutes, and it was only near the end that the Sharks got a bit of freedom and then they played really well.
"You can't allow them to bring players like [Willem] Alberts and Bismarck [du Plessis] onto the front foot. The way they play they are a very momentum-based side, you can't allow them to run with that freedom so you have to attack them at set-phases.
"You can't allow a side like the Sharks free reign, they will run at you all day. The contest will start at the set-phases but that won't be the only area that we will look to shut them down in," he explained.
The Stormers will want to target the Sharks line-out, which was unconvincing in Pretoria, and launch their driving maul which was so effective in the match against the Hurricanes, but Proudfoot wanred that they will have to be wary at scrum-time which is where he believes the Sharks are particularly dangerous.
"I think scrum-time is going to be very tough, it is going to be hard to stop a guy like Kankowski off the back of their scrum so we are going to have to be really clever there.
"The Sharks pack is very powerful and at set-phase time it is going to be a lot tougher against them," he said.
Proudfoot said that while teams will inevitably take a while to adjust to the new interpretations at the breakdown this season, which may mean more kicking, he is hopeful that it will eventually result in quicker ball and more rugby being played.
He said: "The equation of attacking penalties to defensive penalties a year ago was maybe four to one and it is maybe now two to one. So I don't think that teams are very keen on giving away attacking penalties.
"If you hold on to the ball and give away an attacking penalty you give a side so much impetus, if they are defending and get a penalty then they march 40 metres down field and now you have got to defend.
"We have got to get better at being able to attack for longer, hold on to the ball better and be more accurate. Now that they have raised the height of the breakdown the attack has to be as accurate as the defensive guys at the breakdowns and are being adjudicated as harshly.
"Like anything it will work into the game and hopefully it will result in quicker, more effective breakdowns with the ball presentable quicker so that we can play more rugby," added the Stormers assistant coach.
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