DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee was understandably disappointed after his team’s tour-opening defeat to the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday.
The visitors started the game fantastically through two great tries by Gio Aplon and Schalk Burger, which built a 20-3 half time lead. However a yellow card for Aplon and a penalty try for the hosts turned the tide of the game as the Chiefs scored 2 more tries to run out 30-23 winners.
Coetzee admits the yellow card changed the momentum of the game. “Obviously it was a very disappointing result. First half we took it away from them, but unfortunately we could not continue the momentum in the second.
“It is always difficult to play with 14 men. That moment gave them the chance to claw their way back into the game. We made a lot of mistakes and it made it difficult to hold onto our lead. We couldn’t hold the ball, we weren’t able to kick it out when we needed to and we were never able to get the territory we wanted.”
The focus for the team now switches back to Auckland where the DHL Stormers face the Blues next weekend. Coetzee said: “It’s going to be a tough match next weekend. We have gone there in the past off a loss and turned it around. We will need to pitch up for the clash as the Blues are an excellent side.”
On the injury front Jaque Fourie came off at the end of the first half and will be assessed tomorrow. The coach is optimistic it won’t be too serious.
Chiefs: Tries – Sitiveni Sivivatu, Liam Messam, penalty try. Conversions – Stephen Donald (3). Penalty – Stephen Donald (3).
DHL Stormers: Tries – Gio Aplon, Schalk Burger. Conversions – Peter Grant (2). Penalties – Grant (3).