Disappointed Coetzee rues mistakes

PUBLISHED: March 31, 2013

Allister Coetzee was a disappointed man after his team’s 14-19 Super Rugby loss to the Crusaders on Saturday, with the DHL Stormers coach left ruing his team’s error-rate on the night.

The Stormers suffered a first home defeat of 2013 against the seven-time Super Rugby champions and coach Coetzee did not mix his words afterwards.

“It was a very disappointing result. I think the mistakes (again) cost us tonight,” he said.

“This team stands for physicality, which we brought. I think we showed unbelievelable attitude, and defended like trojans – even with 14 men, but you can’t play this game if your set-piece doesn’t function.

“We battled with our line-out, which is why we couldn’t put them under pressure with ball in hand. We knew it would happen – once we lost a couple of line-outs they’d hit it up in the middle and put the ball behind us and kick it out even – as they could contest the next line-out.

“But it wasn’t just a simple throwing issue,” added the DHL Stormers boss, “a number of things didn’t go our way… but hopefully it’s something we can fix.

“The positive for me is that you can’t coach attitude and the guys showed a big desire out there to fight back. You can coach line-outs and you can get it right.”

Captain Jean de Villiers also felt very disappointed afterwards, with the star centre admitting: “I think our execution was the problem tonight.

“We’ve made a lot of progress over the past two matches, but we let it slip again this week. I must say, I’m pretty disappointed.”

To rub further salt into the Stormers’ wounds on Saturday, coach Coetzee will be sweating over the fitness of prop Pat Cilliers (blow to his forearm) and winger Gerhard van den Heever (knock to his knee).

“(Flyhalf) Elton Jantjies also took a knock to his chest, but he’s not as big a worry as Pat and Gerhard at this stage,” said the Stormers boss.

Coetzee will give a further injury update on Monday when the team regathers ahead of their next Super Rugby assignment – against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein next Saturday (kick-off 17h05).

“Our focus is on the Cheetahs match now,” said Coetzee. “They’re a confident team, after a string of good results, and (they) also have a strong line-out.

“But we will work hard on our line-out this coming week,” he added. “A guy like (prop) Steven Kitshoff will come back (from suspension), which will help our combinations – that’s a boost for us.”