Former Springboks skipper Krige reveals Stormers backlash

Former Springboks skipper Krige reveals Stormers backlash

Former Springboks skipper Corne Krige has been giving his thoughts on the upcoming BKT URC battle between two wounded beasts as the DHL Stormers prepare to host Leinster Rugby.

The Stormers - Krige’s former team - went down to a surprise 27-21 home defeat to the Ospreys last weekend, while league leaders Leinster were thumped 44-12 by the Lions.

Now the two beaten big guns will lock horns in Cape Town on Saturday evening,

Speaking on a BKT URC round table, ex-back row star Krige revealed the reaction to the Stormers’ loss at the hands of the Ospreys.

“There was quite a bit of a backlash on that,” he said.

“Obviously everybody was incredibly disappointed at the loss, but you can never underestimate anybody in the BKT URC.

“I don’t think we underestimated them, but on the day we really didn’t play well. We didn’t look after the ball and there were lots of mistakes and knock-ons.

“We always try and play an entertaining game and throw the ball around. We like an open, messy game because within messiness lies opportunities.

“But because it was so messy we couldn't put any phases together.

“As a Stormers supporter, it’s disappointing that they couldn’t do the basics right.

“But you only play as well as you are allowed to play.”

Looking ahead to the meeting with Leinster, Krige said: “It will be a very good match, that’s for sure.

“I think Leinster will be hurting after that big loss against the Lions. That really was a big surprise for me even though they didn’t send their first team out there.”

Having been finalists for the first two years of the BKT URC, the Stormers have stuttered somewhat this season, losing six of their 14 league matches.

The 39-cap Krige believes there are a couple of key factors behind that.

“I think losing Steven Kitshoff took away a lot of the experience we had in the team. He is a great leader,” he said.

“Plus, everybody knows how we play now. They won the BKT URC in the first year because people didn't expect anything from them. Nobody really knew about us in terms of the way we play.

“We always have parity up front and then just throw the ball around in the back.

“People have started to look at our game and say they can put us under pressure.

“I sometimes feel we should be a little bit more conservative, playing a tighter game.

“But people love the exciting rugby they play and I don't think they will change.”

Looking at the Stormers’ chances of making a third successive BKT URC final, Krige said: “They are still in the mix. They are right in there, still top six.

“They are a very dangerous team. You can never underestimate them. They are very resilient and they have got an incredible coach who knows how to motivate them. “But it’s going to be tough if they don’t get in the top four. It will be very hard if they have to go away in the play-offs.”

The Vodacom Bulls also went down to a home defeat last weekend, losing 27-22 to Munster Rugby in Pretoria.

Krige commented: “I think them not sending their best team across to play Northampton in the Champions Cup, resting their top line players, has really backfired against them with losing the game to Munster.

“It has shown they are not as invincible as everyone thought they were at Loftus Versfeld.

“Even if they get a home semi-final, other teams coming to Pretoria will actually start believing they can beat them.”

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