‘George hit-out a success’

PUBLISHED: January 25, 2015

DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee was happy with his team’s 34-3 victory over the SWD Eagles in pre-season action in George on Saturday.

The Men from Cape Town utilised 27 players on the day – some of whom were DHL Stormers debutants – as the young squad came away with a deserved and convincing win.

Coach Coetzee told www.iamastormer.com: “There is plenty for us to work on (after the game), but there were a few positives – the big one being that there were no injuries.

“I must, however, thank our hosts – it was great to see such a turn-out and so many fans supporting the DHL Stormers. Well done to everyone involved in George, it was great to see the love for rugby in the area.”

Looking back further at the match, which saw the DHL Stormers score five tries to nil – despite the hot and humid conditions, Coetzee added: “This team has high standards and, of course, we wanted to start on a high, but the Eagles did not give up and they made it tough for us – despite our scrum dominance and other aspects we dominated.

“We made a lot of unforced errors – partly due to the humidity, but also because it was our first game, but, like I said, there is plenty for us to build on and work on.

“Overall I am reasonably happy with a lot of aspects of our game, but the guys are well aware that we have a lot of work to do.

“The pre-season friendlies were planned so that we build up to a climax. It will definitely be a much bigger challenge against the Cheetahs at DHL Newlands on Friday.”

Aside from keeping a clean sheet on defence, the DHL Stormers scrum was also a key feature of their win – their scrum-dominance being rewarded in the 78th minute with a penalty try (and with a new-look front row on the field too).

“I was happy when Wilco Louw and Oli Kebble came on,” said Coetzee. “The scrums were outstanding throughout, but I don’t want to boast too much (about that).

“There has been a lot of focus on our set-piece in the off-season and I hope we see the same next week. The most important is to take a step forward in every game.”

The DHL Stormers will host the Cheetahs at DHL Newlands this coming Friday – kick-off 19h00 – as the coaching staff continue to look ahead to their 2015 Vodacom Super Rugby opener against the Bulls in Pretoria on February 14.

“We’ve got the first game out the way and we had some real contact. The plan is to work closer to a group of 26 players for the Cheetahs match,” explained Coetzee.

“Depending on how players like Nizaam Carr and Siya Kolisi have recovered they will certainly be considered,” he added, “others like Demetri Catrakilis, Eben Etzebeth and Jean Kleyn could also return.”

The DHL Stormers team, for Friday night’s friendly against the Cheetahs, will be announced on Tuesday.

* CLICK HERE to buy your tickets for Friday’s friendly – between the DHL Stormers and the Cheetahs – at DHL Newlands!