The DHL Stormers showed enormous character to overcome a 19-3 half time deficit to beat the New Zealand conference topping Blues 28-26 in Auckland.
Despite starting the game without key players Grant, De Villiers and Jaque Fourie and sustaining early injuries to Lionel Cronje and CJ Van der Linde, the DHL Stormers showed enormous attitude and belief in the second half to switch the momentum of the game and overturn the deficit, to claim a crucial win in Auckland.
“It was a massive win in the context of the tour and the competition for us.” Said Coach Allister Coetzee. “The game was a test of character given our loss last week and the injuries we had going into the game. At 19-3 down after the first half, stern words were spoken in the change room at half time from both Schalla and the players and the coaching staff and what is particularly pleasing to see is the deep resolve and character in this team. We have players that want to play for this team and the Faithful and their belief, attitude, fight and resilience is what made the difference. The win is a massive morale booster for this side and definitely stands us in great stead for the rest of the competition.”
Coetzee expressed his happiness with the Sadie/ De Jongh centre combination. “They were playing against some pretty good opposition and showed some great touches. I was very pleased with the performance.” On Dewaldt Duvenhage’s performance in the flyhalf berth the coach added “Dewies is a natural ball player and whilst many questioned his ability to cover at 10 we were confident. He showed some big BMT at the end holding his nerve for the conversion to win.” “It was a team effort and I think we can all feel very proud of the boys.”
Injury wise Lionel Cronje has injured his knee and will be travelling back to Cape Town. A call will be made on a replacement. CJ Van Der Linde tweaked his hip flexor injury but the injury does not look serious.
Blues – Tries: Alby Mathewson, Lachie Munro. Conversions: Luke McAlister (2). Penalties: McAlister (4).
DHL Stormers – Tries: Juan de Jongh, Johann Sadie, Schalk Burger. Conversions: Dewald Duvenhage (2). Penalties: Lionel Cronje, Duvenhage (2).