An elated DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee heaped the praise on his coaching team and all the players in the aftermath of their excellent 32-18 Vodacom Super Rugby win over the defending champion Waratahs earlier today.
The DHL Stormers overturned a 13-15 half-time deficit to record their first tour win of 2015 against the reigning champs – also scoring four tries in the process in Sydney.
“I’m really, really happy,” Coetzee told the www.iamastormer.com website from Coogee on Saturday night.
“The players were really determined to register this win and it was a massive performance from everyone… the guys really stepped up to the next level to beat the reigning champions (at home) and to also score four tries.
“It was a 23-man squad effort and credit must go to all the players and all the coaches for all the work that went in this past week,” added the DHL Stormers boss.
“All our plans came together on the night, the bench worked well – all the players that came on made an impact. It’s something we needed against a physical Waratahs team and (also) in our third week on tour.”
The DHL Stormers went down 20-25 to the table-topping Hurricanes last weekend and Coetzee believes the confidence from their second-half showing in Wellington helped the team pull it through against the ‘Tahs.
He said: “I said last week we were heading in the right direction and the belief in this team, despite having one log point to show for our efforts until tonight, has always been there.
“I thought our balance was spot on today – our kicking game was excellent and we put in a huge defensive effort. We also capitalised on that defensive effort and utilised any turnover possession in scoring our four tries.”
Flanker Mike Rhodes (hamstring) is the major injury worry for the DHL Stormers after limping off in the 33rd minute against the ‘Tahs, whilst flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis took a blow to the head and was replaced at the start of the second half.
“Demetri was a bit uncomfortable, so we didn’t want to risk him,” said Coetzee. “But the big worry for us, after a very physical match, is Mike Rhodes who has done his hamstring – he might be on his way home.”
Coetzee continued: “Like I said, we backed our bench during this match – it was our intention all week – and it worked well for us.
“We will have some sore bodies after this match, so our first intention is to field a strong and fit team against the Force next week. We need to continue improving, as we have on this tour, and will keep our feet on the ground and keep working hard in our final week.”
The DHL Stormers will finish their four-match tour of Australasia against the Force at Perth’s nib Stadium next Saturday (kick-off 19h45 local time; 13h45 SA time).