Stormers super rugby lineout losses
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Why The Stormers Lost Half Their Lineouts to the Crusaders Last Weekend

Why The Stormers Lost Half Their Lineouts to the Crusaders Last Weekend

In last weekend’s match against the Crusaders the Stormers managed to win only 56% of their lineouts. Why?

Key Points:
  • The Stormers won 56% of their lineouts
  • Only 2 losses were due to throwing errors
  • 50% of their throws were to Andries Bekker

Well, they actually won 11 of 18 (61%) but those numbers include two where they chose not to throw the ball into the line and instead threw it to the prop standing in the front position. That worked really well with a 100% success rate!

Why did they perform so poorly? It must have been Deon Fourie’s throwing – it’s always the thower’s fault, isn’t it?

No – of the 16 lineouts thrown into the line I rated 14 throws as good (88%) and he was 100% accurate with the throws to his prop so he actually had 16 good throws from 18 (89%) and that’s a pretty good number by professional standards. Looking at it another way the Stormers lost both of the lineouts where his throws were poor so those throws caused 29% of the losses, which is not as good.

The biggest problem is that the Stormers rely so heavily on Andries Bekker to win their lineout ball, that they have become very predictable. In this match they threw to Bekker in 50% of lineouts, to De Kock Steenkamp in 38% and to Duane Vermeulen the remaining 12%. The Crusaders’ job was made easy for them – mark Bekker and Steenkamp hard and you’re in with a very good chance of winning or disrupting the Stormers’ lineout ball – and the Crusaders did it well.

Having just two jumpers makes it too easy for the opposition to spoil vital lineout ball. Who should those jumpers be for the Wallabies, against the Lions?

For a more detailed discussion on this whole topic of how many jumpers you need and who they should be for the Wallabies, click here.

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  • Lee Grant

    Good blog Scott.

    It was a grand performance all round by the Crusaders without their stars, but the performance by Sam Whitelock and his mates at lineout time was special. And forcing the Stormers to go for the clever short throws must have been a shock for the Newlands’ faithful. It’s usually something their team imposes on visitors.

    Come to think of it – the Saders’ scrum effort when Owen Franks had to go off and Crockett switched to THP, wasn’t too shabby either.

    Parking the best lineout guy in front of Bekker all the time, or moving with him as he moves seems like a no-brainer, but it doesn’t happen a lot.

    It frustrates me when my team doesn’t hoist a jumper in front of the premier receiver of the other team every time, except in one’s own 22, because it’s not too hard to make a credible attempt at causing legal mischief – even if it’s just getting a hand in front of his eyes.

    Of course the main opponent can move up and down the line, but it would be good to see some effort made every time outside your 22 to prove the guys are earning their pay.

Super Rugby

Scott is one of our regular contributors from the old days of G&GR. He has experience coaching Premier Grade with two clubs in Brisbane.

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