Coach Allister Coetzee was happy with a job well done, following the DHL Stormers 44-34 victory over the Toyota Cheetahs in Bloemfontein. The result earns the team a home semifinal and a week break from the competition.
He said following Saturday evening’s win: “It was a very pleasing result for us and it is very much mission accomplished. At the beginning of the year our goal was to earn a home semifinal, so we are obviously delighted that we have achieved our goal.
“We are always looking to improve every game and we were able to do that so we are very happy in that regard. Perhaps we could have finished off more of our chances, but we did get the bonus point and as it is never easy to win in Bloemfontein, we are very satisfied with the display. There were a few individual errors, but in a tight game like this it is expected particularly at this time of the season. “
One of the key factors in the victory was the return of Peter Grant who put in a man-of-the-match performance and the coach was full of praise for the flyhalf. He said: “Having Peter Grant back was great. We knew how important it would be to have someone of his experience in the side and he proved that today. He is very influential and he handled the Cheetahs rush defence very well. There are a few things he can brush up on, but that is to be expected after having been out of the game for over a month. Nevertheless we were very happy with his kicking at goal, his general play and his defence.”
Having earned maximum points against the Cheetahs, the team can enjoy a much needed break before the semifinal in two weeks. Coetzee knows how important the rest is for his team. “The break is much needed for the players. They have worked really hard throughout the season and this is their reward for all their efforts. They will have a week off and it is an opportunity to not only a physical break, but a mental break from the game to ensure that they come back next week refreshed and ready for the semi final.”
On the injury front, Duane Vermeulen will have a scan on his knee after coming off in the second half of Saturday’s game. There are however no other injury concerns as the team goes into their second home semifinal in two years.