A delighted DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee deservedly heaped the praise on his charges after their clinical 16-0 win over the Bulls at DHL Newlands on Saturday evening.
The DHL Stormers scored the only try of the game – through Jaco Taute – as they froze the Bulls out in front of just over 35,000 spectators who braved the Cape Town cold.
“We were ready for this North-South derby… we played with great intensity,” Coetzee told the official DHL Stormers website after the match.
“We played some of our best rugby this year and it was pleasing especially because it was against a side like the Bulls. We showed the balance between attack and defence that we have been striving for.”
Although the DHL Stormers had a few nervous moments in the second half – mainly in the line-out – Coetzee was not overly concerned ahead of his team’s final game of the season, against the Sharks in Cape Town next weekend.
“(Bulls lock) Victor Matfield is such a master at controlling the line-outs that opponents will always battle there and it would have been better if he was not there,” he said.
“It’s not something that we cannot fix and with the Sharks up next week, we know we have some work to do there.”
Loose forward Nizaam Carr walked off with yet another Vodacom Man of the Match Award after another industrious display in the No.6 jersey, whilst flyhalf Kurt Coleman also impressed with his 11-point haul and game management from the crucial No.10 position.
“Kurt brings a balance to the game from the flyhalf position and his goalkicking even in the poor conditions continues to improve,” said Coetzee, who – along with captain Schalk Burger – also praised the incredible home support on the night.
“I was also happy with our centre combination of Juan de Jongh and Sailosi Tagicakibau – even though they have never played together before.”
And speaking about the passionate DHL Newlands crowd, Coetzee added: “We had over 35,000 people out there right behind us, braving the Cape Town cold and they didn’t flinch in the rain early in the second half.
“I’d really like to thank The Faithful for braving the cold and supporting us out there.”
Meanwhile, Bulls coach Frans Ludeke praised the DHL Stormers for forcing his team into errors on the night, saying: “The Stormers really started well and exerted big pressure.
“It was a game of two halves, but we just couldn’t get points in the second half. The Stormers won the gainline battle, but we also lost the ball at crucial stages.”