The Stormers have a great chance to widen their conference lead against the Jaguares today. Wynona Louw has three tips for them.
1. Don’t let it slip
Against the Lions at Ellis Park last week, the Stormers were in the lead at half-time, but as the second half progressed, the Lions looked set to win the game as the Stormers were their own worst enemy. They didn’t end up throwing the game, thanks to that late try by Ruhan Nel, but they can’t find themselves in the same situation today. To be fair, the conditions were tough up there, you don’t just go to Ellis Park, take an easy win and stroll off. But against the Jaguares, the Stormers need to make sure they don’t let it slip in the second half, especially after what happened in Buenos Aires.
After trailing 12-24 going into the shed, the Jaguares came back and ended up securing a 43-27 win.
They won’t stop coming at Newlands, so staying in the game for 80 minutes is going to be vital. But a good start is going to be just as vital.
2. More of that last one
The Stormers wouldn’t have wanted to sneak it at the death against the Lions. They wouldn’t have wanted to make all those errors in between and they wouldn’t have wanted it to come down to that. But, you have to admit, that try was good.
Until now, John Dobson has been very vocal about wanting to score tries and attack more, and I’d imagine that try from Nel is right up there in terms of the kind of five-pointers the Stormers head coach would like to see more often. The way they took the ball through a couple of phases before allowing their backs to add the finishing touches (how about that skip pass from Jean-Luc du Plessis and Sergeal Petersen’s silky contribution) was lekker to watch.
3 Pack, repeat
How good has the Stormers pack been so far? It should come as no surprise, though, after all there are a solid few Boks in there, even without Siya Kolisi and Bongi Mbonambi.
Their scrum has been a big factor, and they’ve complimented their grind up front with an easy-on-the-eye driving maul or three. Against the 2019 Super Rugby finalists, that needs to be repeated. Their overall physicality has been right up there (just ask the Canes), and with the quality of forwards they have on the bench, it’s something they can easily sustain right through to the final whistle.
The Stormers’ defence has been next level this season, and they can put the Argentines under serious pressure with that weapon today, so that’s one area that’s going to be vital. Dobson has spoken about cutting down their space, so if there’s one day where they’d want their linespeed to be on point, that’d be today.