After an agonising last gasp United Rugby Championship (URC) defeat against Glasgow Warriors over the past weekend, the Stormers are continuing to learn as they shift their focus to their Champions Cup match against London Irish on Sunday afternoon.
The loss to Glasgow was a sucker punch to the Stormers, as it was a game they were well in with a chance of winning throughout, but they need to shake that off and make sure they bounce back with a big performance against London Irish.
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“When we came out of that game, one thing we said was that we can’t drop our spirits or drop our heads, based on this loss. But the one thing we must look for is learning from it,” explained Stormers assistant coach Rito Hlungwani during a press conference on Wednesday.
“We need to learn how to finish these games and how to shut them out. There were a few things that were within our control that we didn’t execute, and we spent numerous hours in meetings talking about how we can do certain things better.
“But it’s not necessarily a big issue that we are concerned about. We have identified certain things from the Glasgow game, and those are things that we’ve learnt from and want to improve.”
Where the Stormers want to make a big improvement this weekend is their mauling, which they normally pride themselves on, but struggled to get going against Glasgow.
They did manage to score one of their tries off one, when it was stopped short and hooker Joseph Dweba broke off the back and bulldozed over a defender, but overall it wasn’t up to the standards that the Stormers management have come to expect.
“The big disappointment from a forwards point of view was the standard at which we mauled at. We were let down by how we didn’t stick to our structure, our system and the way we connect and all of that,” said Hlungwani.
“We had more mauling opportunities than we’ve had in any game, and as I said to the players, I thought Glasgow did really well to stop us. But after reviewing the game, we saw how poor we were with the things we wanted to achieve with the maul.
“So it was all on us. We were not good enough when it came to mauling. Usually we take that opportunity, especially in the 22. Trying to maul so much is never a problem for us, but the execution was a big problem, which we’ve identified and since fixed.”