Winless Stormers learning Northern Hemisphere referee leanings


Munster’s RG Snyman scores against the Stormers. (Brendan Moran/Gallo Images)

Like the other South African teams in the tournament, the Stormers are desperately trying to adapt to European-style officiating as they attempt to register their first United Rugby Championship (URC) win.

The Stormers travel to Edinburgh this weekend for their third-round clash looking to overturn losses to Benetton and Munster in the opening two rounds.

The Cape outfit took double-digit leads in both matches, but we were overhauled by both home sides in the encounters owing to some penalty calls and ill-discipline going against them.

READ | Stormers lock cited for allegedly biting a Munster player

However, Stormers assistant coach Labeeb Levy said the team wanted to understand and learn how some margins were officiated, such as the breakdown, maul defence, and try line defence.

“You can say, yes, we have to adapt. But we’ve tried to analyse what happened in the game, and we had a referee meeting [on Tuesday] to enquire whether we are interpreting things wrong or misunderstanding something,” said Levy.

“There were a couple of things we picked up last weekend, especially, like the ‘gate’. We coach a player like Nama (Xaba), for example, to plant his foot and do a quick spin behind the offside line.

“But we found that the Munster guys didn’t usually do that, so it looked like, from our perspective, they were coming from an offside position.

“Things like defending the maul or when they attack our try line, there are small things that we feel might be obstruction.

“How do the refs like us to deal with it? Can we coach our players to do the same, or are they going to penalise us?

“We hoped to get some clarity so that we can adapt and put things into place to deal with it.”

The Stormers conceded five tries (to their two) and 10 penalties to Munster’s 11 in their 36-18 defeat in Limerick last weekend.

The penalty count may not look like a huge discrepancy on paper, but it hurt the Stormers in that they lost valuable territory each time, and Munster was able to set up maul drives from which they scored.

Springbok RG Snyman also profited when he came on as a second-half substitute, reaching over to score a long-limbed try past the hapless Stormers defence.

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Publish date : 2021-10-06 19:07:30

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