In a match where they were clearly the better side, lack of concentration (and numerous other issues) cost the Stormers a face-saving second win on tour. They did as their coach has alluded to all season – they created chances – but these chances were wasted through sloppy handling and a complete disregard for protecting the ball.
It seems as though the Stormers expect the ball to magically come back on their side at every ruck, that the opposition are never going to contest and that quick ball is given and not earned. Poor individual skill and a lack of common sense led to individuals hitting the gain line with no one to support them. On numerous occasions there were two or more Rebels over the ball trying to win it back – and win it back they did!
The piece of play that ultimately lost the Stormers the match, epitomised the entire game and in fact their entire season. Lack of clean ball led to a poor pass, which was duly fumbled, then as Nick Phipps kicked the ball through a Stormers player pulled him back, resulting in a penalty try. What that microcosmic piece of play displayed is that when the Stormers have the ball they are incapable of doing anything meaningful with it.
Whether its a lack of skill, experience, talent or coaching is yet to be determined. What has been determined is that the Stormers will not be winning the Super Rugby competition any time soon, that changes in coaching personal need to happen, and that a stubbornly defensive mindset will eventually turn exciting talent into pathetically poor rugby players.
*Note: That was the Rebel’s first ever win against South African opposition. Yes, the Kings even beat them (away).
Rebels: 30 (13)
Tries: Scott Higginbotham, Hugh Pyle, Penalty Try
Conversions: Jason Woodward (3)
Penalties: Jason Woodward (3)
Stormers: 21 (14)
Tries: Louis Schreuder, Bryan Habana, Andries Bekker
Conversions: Joe Pietersen (3)