Coach Allister Coetzee described Saturday night’s 24-12 win over the Southern Kings as ‘one helluva battle’, as the DHL Stormers claimed their fourth victory in a row since returning home from tour in May.
In the process, the Stormers also claimed their eighth win of 2013, as they prepare for their final league match – at home – against the Vodacom Super Rugby table-topping Bulls next weekend.
“It was tough out there – it was one helluva battle,” said Coetzee of Saturday’s hard-fought two-tries-to-nil victory in Port Elizabeth.
“The Kings were up for it, it was after all their last chance to beat an SA franchise this season, but we knew it would be tough and we’re happy with the win – despite leaving a few points out there.”
Coetzee was full of praise for the dominant Stormers’ scrum and he also felt their kicking game was good as they moved up to seventh place on the log with this victory in PE. (See the photo gallery HERE from Saturday!)
The coach pointed out: “I thought the scrum was one area of dominance for us. Our kicking game was good too, but we also held onto the ball well and forced the Kings into making over 250 tackles. Again, that last pass let us down out there and that’s why I really think we could’ve scored a few more points.
“But, with all that in mind, I was very pleased with the win… our fourth on the trot. It’s a big positive for us in what has been a tough season and (also) ahead of next week.”
The Bulls, who currently top the overall Super Rugby log, are next up for the Stormers (at DHL Newlands next Saturday – kick-off 19h10).
“There is no motivation needed when it comes to facing the Bulls,” admitted Coetzee.
“Our aim has always been to end this (second) phase of the season unbeaten. It’s all about regaining lost pride and finishing strongly, as we did against the Cheetahs and the Kings, and we’d love to end the season with a win in our last match at home – be it against the Bulls… or anyone else for that matter.”
Prop Pat Cilliers (ankle) and flank Rynhardt Elstadt (knee) both returned from injury in the second half of the Kings match, after being out of action since May, and Coetzee was also hopeful of perhaps being able to call upon national captain Jean de Villiers (sternum) for the Bulls game.
Speaking about the Stormers’ current injury-situation, after a tough season on the injury-front, Coetzee revealed: “It was great having Pat and Rynhardt back, I thought they went well when they came on.
“At the moment, only Damian de Allende (stiff ankle) and Joe Pietersen (dead leg) are minor injury worries after Saturday, but I will get a full injury report on Monday. We will also know more about Jean tomorrow, so all will be revealed then.”
Players like De Allende (at inside centre) and Deon Fourie (as captain) have filled in superbly for the inspirational De Villiers in recent weeks and Coetzee had nothing but praise for Fourie, the official Vodacom Man of the Match after his two-try effort in Port Elizabeth.
“Deon has been exceptional, in last year’s Currie Cup and now,” said Coetzee.
“He does well, whether he’s playing at hooker or on the flank… or as captain (now). He always leads from the front and deserves all the credit that comes his way.”