Stormers a work in progress

Rassie Erasmus refuses to believe victory in Brisbane has cured all ails, saying the Stormers are far from the finished product.

The Stormers responded to the pressure of three defeats by recording a 34-16 win at Suncorp Stadium, a victory that also included a bonus point for four tries. Given the Stormers had only scored one try prior to this match, it was an obvious improvement, but the manner in which they innovated on attack was encouraging.

Speaking to keo.co.za after the game, Erasmus admitted he was elated with his first win as Stormers coach but also pointed out the need for improvement.

“We’ve been working so hard over the last few months so it’s great to finally have the win,” he said. “It was nice to get that fourth try at the end but we are very happy to manage a win away from a home. We’ve lost a few close games which can dent the players’ confidence but tonight we showed we are still a good side.

“It does help the confidence, but we know it won’t get any easier from here, and we know there’s still plenty of work to do.”

The Stormers travel to New Zealand for the next stage of their tour, playing the Chiefs and Blues in successive weeks. They will need to build on the attacking showing at Suncorp Stadium, while their structures will need to be even sharper.

“Everybody wants to see us playing beautiful rugby, but to play that kind of game we need to make sure the mechanics are right,” said Erasmus. “By that I mean you need to ensure the defence, clean-outs, set-pieces and drives are all right.

“Our defence and line-outs are getting there, but there is still a bit of work to be done in areas like the scrum. Once we’ve got those things right it will allow us to play more of the beautiful rugby.”

Another big improvement from the Stormers was their second half performance. In their first two matches, they went to half-time with the lead and then failed to score a point thereafter. On this occasion, they led the Reds 10-8 at half-time, but turned it on in the second stanza to close out the game.

“I was impressed with the way the guys played in the second half. They struggled initially but then stuck to their guns.”

Erasmus also said there was no need to get carried away with this victory. The Reds didn’t play well, and the New Zealand leg is always the most difficult part of an Australasian tour. For a side that still has one win in four matches, it’s going to be a tough ask.

“People must understand it’s a process. We’ve done some things right but there’s still a lot of work to be done. We’ve pulled off a win, but we still have some way to go,” he said.

By Jon Cardinelli