The DHL Stormers suffered three potential injury-blows during their 15-21 Vodacom Super Rugby defeat to the Waratahs at Allianz Stadium on Saturday.
The Stormers led 15-11 going into the final ten minutes of the game, but conceded a late converted try – followed by a penalty on full-time – to suffer a second narrow tour loss.
Speaking after his team’s six-point defeat, DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said from Sydney on Saturday night (local time): “Once again it goes without saying that it wasn’t the result we wanted.
“We really threw everything at the Waratahs tonight, but it seems to not be going our way. We had the ascendancy going into those final ten minutes but we suffered three big injuries – we lost Duane (Vermeulen), Rynhardt (Elstadt) and, also, Deon Fourie (a bit earlier).
“It came at a crucial stage of the game – we were leading 15-11… (but) just one mistake at a line-out; we knocked on, they kicked the ball through and that’s where they got their winning try.
“We’re really hurting, it wasn’t the result we wanted, but I have to commend the players for the effort out there tonight.”
It was the DHL Stormers’ fifth losing bonus point of 2013, showing just how unlucky they have been this season.
“What hurts even more is that we’re making mistakes at crucial stages – costly errors – it happened last week and it happened again today,” added Coetzee in conversation on the iamastormer.com website.
“Defensively we were outstanding and our set-piece functioned well. It was a typical Test-match out there, it was a hard-fought dog-fight… We knew we had to slog it out, but, once again, I think we beat ourselves.
“The bounce of the ball really does not favour us at this point in time, but one must give credit to the Waratahs. They kept their composure and they stuck it out to the end. It was a Test-match situation as I said, it was a physical game, but they fronted up until the end.”
On the topic of physicality, the Stormers suffered three key injuries in the match with coach Coetzee sweating over the well-being of hooker Deon Fourie (ribs) and loose forwards Rynhardt Elstadt and Duane Vermeulen (both with knee injuries).
Speaking about those injuries, Coetzee admitted: “It’s not looking good at this point in time.
“Duane hurt his knee, it looks like his MCL. Rynhardt is similar (also the knee), it seems, and it could be long-term. Deon Fourie hurt his ribs.
“I am awaiting results on all those injuries, before we know the full extent. Those three are the big injuries after tonight’s game.”
* The DHL Stormers will remain in Sydney until Thursday, before transferring to Melbourne ahead of their final tour match against the Rebels on Friday, May 17 (kick-off 11h40 SA time).