Stormers back Jean de Villiers said the primary reason why the Crusaders beat them was their unmatched ability to take better options.
Stormers captain Jean de Villiers said the primary reason why the Crusaders won at Newlands was their unmatched ability to take better options.
The New Zealanders won 19-14 on Saturday as De Villiers picks the pieces of how his side fell to a XV minus Kieran Read, Dan Carter and others.
“From an attacking viewpoint, we took the wrong options,” said De Villiers.
“We had made so much progress with our ability to attack in the past weeks, and then we disappointed so much tonight.”
The New Zealand visitors ran out at Newlands with a plan which was primarily aimed at disrupting the Stormers line-out and it worked like a charm although the Stormers battled gamely and at the end came within a whisker of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.
The fact that they had lost so many line-outs was self-destructing but with limited opportunities, the Stormers could have triumphed had they taken better options.
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee also referred to the poor option-taking which he simply masked as “mistakes”.
“It was a very disappointing result and mistakes again cost us tonight,” Coetzee said.
“You cannot play this game if you cannot win your set-piece, and especially your line-out.
“That is where we battled and that is why we couldn't put them under pressure with ball in hand.”
Coetzee praised his charges for their positive attitude, especially on defence, even when they were a player short.
“The positive for me is that you can't coach attitude, and the guys showed a big desire out there to fight back,” he said.
“You can coach line-outs, and you can get it right.
“It is difficult to say why we did not show consistency (from one week to the next) but we have to get the line-out right because we're facing the Cheetahs next, they've got a strong line-out.”
The Stormers mentor said the issues in the line-outs did not merely come down to the throw-ins but a combination of factors they needed to improve on.
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder said his team's game plan had worked well, even though they were without several key players.
“We knew the Stormers' set-piece was critical to their game, and the guys have just done a lot of hard work (on that area) this week,” Blackadder said. “We put them under pressure and it doesn't happen by accident.
“The team had been through a bit this week because, obviously, there was a bit of attention about the players that we didn't have but I think the senior players did a great job. We really prepared well for this week so we got a really good outcome.”