The Stormers may have won three out of their two games this season but captain Jean de Villiers is not satisfied and has called for a sharper attacking edge in the backline against the Blues this weekend.
Thanks to their bye last week the Stormers are riding high with 12 points from their two victories this season, but the feeling in the squad is that they have not hit top gear just yet despite showing good character to hold off stern challenges from the Hurricanes and the Sharks at Newlands.
The Cape side are renowned for their incredibly effective defensive system, but have found it equally difficult to breach the last line of their opposition thus far this season, and De Villiers knows exactly who is to blame.
According to the Springbok veteran the backline that he leads are in debt to a steely forward pack whose dominant performances have got them over the line so far this season without much support from the men out wide.
He commented: "It hasn't been good for the backline as a unit and the way that we want to play. I think the forwards have really pulled us through the first two games and it is time for us to do our part as well.
"Essentially it is a team sport and you want the team as a collective unit to do well but as the individual unit you want to combine well and we haven't seen that so we have worked hard and we are hoping for an improvement on Friday night," added De Villiers.
The experienced midfielder dismissed the idea that the interpretation of the laws this season may be the reason for his team's impotence on attack, pointing out that it was just a matter of adapting to be able to create and take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves.
He explained: "Those are the rules and both teams play under the same laws. It is the way that you adapt to it and the way that you play. If it means that you have to maybe defend a little bit more then so be it.
"At the end of the day you are still going to have attacking, try-scoring opportunities and it is being able to create those opportunities and turn them into points. We haven't been doing that to be honest," said De Villiers.
Another concern for the Stormers captain is the side's poor record when coming off a bye, and although he was grateful to claim the four free log points last week he stressed that his team are focused on maintaining the momentum that they had gathered before the break.
"Obviously we worked hard last week for our four points last week so we are looking forward to the game this weekend," joked the Bok centre.
"We know it will be tough and we have seen in the past that we haven't played that well after the bye, so we are looking to rectify that.
"We had two pretty tough sessions yesterday [Monday] and today [Tuesday] which have been full days and the work has been put in so for us the key is to just go and apply that on Friday night and hopefully put on a good performance against what we believe is a quality team," said De Villiers.
By Michael de Vries
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