The physical intensity and the speed of the Vodacom Stormers play gave coach Allister Coetzee the most satisfaction in Friday’s 49-15 trashing of the Chiefs in Hamilton.
The Stormers are now in third place on the points’ table and well positioned to challenge for a semi-final berth. On Friday they face the in-form Reds in Brisbane.
The Reds are breathing in the Stormers neck in fourth place and will be keen to repeat the fantastic victory over the second-placed Bulls when they meet the Stormers on Friday.
Coetzee said the Chiefs couldn’t keep up with the pace and intensity of the Stormers play on Friday. The performance brought back memories of the remarkabale 51-23 victory over the Blues in Auckland in 2004.
The coach said it was important to trust the players and their ability to make the right decision at the right time. “If I always want to discourage 50-50 passes and bring in a set rule that we have to kick from our own 22 we wouldn’t have scored that try,” he said.
The try the coach referred to was the one by wing Bryan Habana, who finished a breathtaking movement in which several players featured.
“When you dominate the contact you can get the ball away like that. That is where the trust in the team and in one another comes true. IT was an unbelievable try. It was spectacular.”
The coach lauded his players and said he couldn’t remember if any team has previously accounted in consecutive games for the Blues and the Chiefs.
Coetzee said captain Schalk Burger deserves a lot of credit for the performance, as it was due to him that they pitched up for the game in the right frame of mind.
He also praised the forwards, who laid the foundation for the victory. “We dominated the tight facets and the senior players put their hands up. Andries Bekker is having one his best season ever and Schalk was brilliant.
“Francois Louw was fantastic at the breakdown and Duane Vermeulen was just amazing. The substitutes that went on such as Deon Fourie and Anton van Zyl ensured that we retained the intensity in the second half.
“We would probably tweak our plan here and there this week, but need to make sure we play with the same intensity against the Reds.”