Allister Coetzee was understandably thrilled with his team’s 29-17 win over the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday, but the DHL Stormers coach remained humble in victory after Round One of the 2015 Vodacom Super Rugby competition.
The visitors scored two tries to one as they opened their 2015 Vodacom Super Rugby campaign with a memorable – and well-deserved – win on the road.
Not only was it the Bulls’ first home defeat since 2013, but, crucially, it was the DHL Stormers’ first opening-day win since 2012 – having lost away to the selfsame Bulls in 2013 and the Lions in 2014.
A pleased Coetzee told the www.iamastormer.com website on Saturday evening: “It is a very good start for us. I maintain that it is never easy to come here and win, that is why we have so much respect for the Bulls.
“We had to turn up and give our best performance, so I am really proud of the team and especially the youngsters that came out and put their hands up.
“It is only the first match of the competition and we are not going to get carried away by this, we have the Blues next week at home and that is how you roll in this competition and start all over again.”
Inside centre Damian de Allende walked off with the official Vodacom Super Rugby Man of the Match honours, with the DHL Stormers’ tries being scored by left-wing Dillyn Leyds and No.8 Duane Vermeulen and kickers Demetri Catrakilis and Kurt Coleman landing 19 points between them.
Coetzee, however, also heaped praised on the leadership group in his squad, adding: “I am proud of the leadership because I haven’t seen a DHL Stormers team so clinical in the last 15/20 minutes like we were tonight,”
“It is always field position here, territory is massively important in Super Rugby, you cannot score tries from 50, 60, 70 metres out.
“You’ve got to be in the opposition’s half and that was the difference between the two sides, we were clinical in exiting our half and putting pressure on the Bulls when we got into their half.”
Another standout feature of the DHL Stormers’ win was their powerful scrum – and set-piece in general – and Coetzee doffed his cap in the direction of forwards coach Matt Proudfoot.
“We put a massive focus on our scrummaging in the off-season and Matt Proudfoot did extremely well,” said the DHL Stormers boss. “We were really pleased with even the young props that came on in the last 20 minutes to do their job.”
The DHL Stormers will host New Zealand team, the Blues, at DHL Newlands on Saturday, February 21 (kick-off 17h05).