Patience combined with a killer instinct is exactly what teams need heading into the business end of Super Rugby.
And it looks like the Stormers are honing the big match temperament required to perhaps cause a stir in the playoffs this year.
Their 22-3 bonus point win over the Force in Perth on Saturday – thanks to a double from Kobus van Wyk and a Siya Kolisi five-pointer – was a testament to that.
At the start of the season, coach Robbie Fleck’s charges perhaps forced a running game too much. The coach said back then that they wish to make less tackles than what they did in previous years under Allister Coetzee.
But the reality is, allowing their opponents to play at them and then hitting when the opportunity arises is how they will slay the big guns.
It might only have been the Force and the Rebels over the past two weekends, but the bonus point wins overseas secured the Stormers a home quarterfinal.
As it stands, that match will be against defending champions the Highlanders.
Two weeks ago against the Rebels, the Stormers made 147 tackles opposed to 102 made by their opponents, while this past weekend they made 129 – without conceding a try – opposed to the 81 made by the Force.
In both games the opposition dominated both territory and possession, while in the Stormers’ last defeat of their campaign – 17-13 to the Bulls at Loftus – they in fact had 63 percent possession and 68 percent of the territory.
Furthermore, they made only 60 tackles in that match, while the Bulls made a total of 145.
It’s knowing when to deliver that killer blow after defending, defending and defending that will give you the edge over your opponents.
It’s a kind of a rope-a-dope tactic made famous by the late Muhammad Ali.
Make no mistake, it’s not only a South African thing.
The Highlanders, who the Stormers are probably going to face in the quarterfinal, made 108 tackles in their 34-8 win over the Jaguares on the weekend, while their hosts made only 74.
Both teams missed an unthinkable amount of 23 tackles each – take note Fleckie.
The Jaguares also dominated the territory and possession stats, meaning less time with ball in hand actually gives you greater success nowadays.