DHL Stormers to dig deep

PUBLISHED: April 6, 2014

DHL Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee has backed his team to bounce back from their current situation, with the team having suffered a first home defeat of 2014 on Saturday night.

Speaking after the DHL Stormers’ 11-22 Vodacom Super Rugby loss to the Waratahs at DHL Newlands, the coach told the www.iamastormer.com website: “What can you say? We are in a bit of a hole at the moment – it’s (just) for this team to get themselves out of that hole.

“Maybe we have got to relook at our goals and our plans. I think the plans were good, we wanted to drive-maul them which worked and we got really good rewards from that.

“But then it’s a mistake here, a mistake there – for instance, a long pass going out to touch.

“It is clear that when there is no pressure on the team, especially in the first half, that they play with vigour and energy but as soon as there is a bit of pressure on there you see a lot of decisions that are strange,” he said.

Coetzee lamented his team’s huge injury list, although he did not want to make excuses, saying: “It’s not good enough, and I am not saying that the young players in the team are not good enough, they are really trying, but we do lack a bit of our experienced players.

“We’ve had to change personnel week in and week out and many of the players coming in lack experience,” he added.

“You’re sitting with six players that are playing their first year of Vodacom Super Rugby, these are not excuses I am making but that is the reality.

“You have got De Kock Steenkamp, Eben Etzebeth, Manuel Carrizza, Rynhardt Elstadt and Gerbrand Grobler out as locks and now you are sitting with number six and seven and you are playing with hooker number three that is one reason for the set-piece falling apart.”

The DHL Stormers have a bye this coming week and Coetzee has given his entire squad time off ahead of their next game (v the Lions) on Saturday, April 19.

Looking at the team’s injury list, and the potential return of some key men, the DHL Stormers boss revealed: “Realistically speaking Jean de Villiers will be back, Pat Cilliers, Scarra Ntubeni, Schalk Burger and Tiaan Liebenberg will be back. (Wing) Cheslin Kolbe might be an extra week or two away.”