The Stormers currently sit at 9th on the overall Super Rugby log having only won 50% of their games thus far. However another 9 that will be worrying Stormers Coaches Robbie Fleck and Paul Feeney is that the Stormers have only scored 9 tries this season.
The stats for the Stormers in the 2019 season are not looking good, and as stated above their try scoring ability or lack thereof measures up to a measly 1.5 tries per game. They currently sit at the bottom of the list of tries scored. Compare this to the chart topping Crusaders who sit with 27 tries and it illustrates just how large the gap between the two teams is.
Other indicators of the blunt attack the Stormers possess are found in their running meters (3558) which is over a 1000m behind the leading Crusaders. The Stormers kicking stats far exceed the average in Super Rugby having made 145 to the Crusaders 97. The Stormers even more surprisingly have only made 12 clean line breaks which is an issue in itself considering Damian De Allende is supposed to be the Bok first choice for the inside centre birth.
The only positives for the Stormers statistically speaking is that their discipline has remained steady and their defence is seemingly well organised. However for a team hoping to make the play offs, penalty kicks and good intentions aren’t going to get them over that hurdle.
There was plenty of excitement down in the Cape at the start of the season with 7s star Ruhan Nel pairing up in the midfield with Springbok incumbent Damian De Allende. After two rounds however Nel was dropped as he struggled to make a telling transition into the 15 man game. He may however find himself thrust back into the starting line-up this weekend due to an injury enforced change.
More worrying from Rassie Erasmus’ view however will be the form of De Allende, with the centre spilling balls in the tackle and failing to assert himself physically in contact he is surely letting the 12 jersey slip through his fingers. His direct challenger, being Andre Esterhuizen of the Sharks, who is having a strong season thus far with other Springbok bolter Lukhanyo Am.
This season, the Stormers have shown a tendency to kick the ball at every opportunity and as such their backs have had little attacking opportunity. However when they do get the ball, handling errors and poor decision making, in conjunction with their flat line on attack make them the most predictable team in Super Rugby.
Springbok fans will be hoping the Stormers backline starts to show some enterprise soon so that De Allende regains form before the team heads to Japan otherwise he may just find himself left at home whilst his coastal rival takes his seat on the plane.
Written by: Nicholas Halsey
Image credit: IOL