De Villiers praises team character

PUBLISHED: March 1, 2014

DHL Stormers captain Jean de Villiers praised his team’s character after their gutsy, come from behind victory over the Hurricanes at DHL Newlands on Friday evening.

The Stormers opened their account in the 2014 Vodacom Super Rugby tournament with a determined 19-18 win over the ‘Canes, having last weekend suffered an away defeat to the Lions in Johannesburg.

The team brushed aside the late withdrawal of star flanker Schalk Burger – with a groin injury – as well as a 6-12 half-time deficit to come away with a valuable victory at home, courtesy of a 77-minute try from all-action forward Deon Fourie.

De Villiers said afterwards: “The guys showed plenty of character tonight after a very tough week.

“It wasn’t perfect, but we will take it and I’d really like to thank The Faithful for standing behind us tonight – over 31,000 people were in the crowd and they certainly made themselves heard.”

The DHL Stormers skipper added: “This win… the one point, it’s huge – it’s a huge win.

“It doesn’t matter how we did it or how we got it… we got it. The margins are small in this competition… before you wipe your eyes out you could find yourself (low) down on the log, so you take any wins in the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament.”

The DHL Stormers will fly to New Zealand on Sunday afternoon on a tough four-match tour, which sees them take on the Crusaders in Christchurch next Saturday – where they have never won.

“At the moment, as I sit her now, our focus is on enjoying this win and then focusing on Crusaders,” said De Villiers when asked to rate his team’s chances on their four-match tour.

“The key, right now, is for us to learn from our errors.

“Yes, the maul worked for us in the end this week, but we didn’t get (the) points on three/four occasions before that when I elected to kick for the corner. Maybe we need to sit down and take a look and say let’s take the points on offer (all the time). The key is to keep making the right decisions and, if not, to learn from the wrong ones.”