Gert relishing sweet victory

PUBLISHED: May 8, 2005

Investec Stormers coach Gert Smal on Saturday night enjoyed the fruits of a victory after his side beat the Cats 25-20 in their last Super 12 game for 2005 at Newlands.

The coach, who had to endure severe criticism after a poor run by the Stormers, was clearly a relieved man and said it felt good to be winning again.

“That is for sure. When you go through difficult times you sometimes forget how nice it is to win. I told the guys tonight that although it was not our best game, at least it was a win,” he answered to a question.

“When you win, you have to enjoy it, because those bad times are so bloody bad! You must enjoy it.”

The Stormers did not play too well in the first half and the Cats enjoyed a 12-0 lead at the break. Smal, however, said he had no doubt in his mind that his team would be able to come back and win the game.

“No, no, I must say, with the caliber of players we have I told the guys when we came back in the change room I know that we can turn it around. Credit must go to the players. I think they showed a lot of character to take the game back from them.

“There were a number of mistakes in the beginning – our kicking was not good enough, our first-line defence was not good enough and we did not get enough forward momentum.

“We also had a couple of opportunities that we couldn’t finish. The second half was a bit better, but still far from where we want to be.”

The coach said his side would not do the Bulls, who need to win if they want to qualify for the semifinals, any favours at Loftus on Saturday afternoon.

“We will approach it as any other game. We will enjoy the game tonight and then tomorrow we will start building for Saturday’s game again.

“We will dissect their game and look at their strengths. I think I know them quite well. We will plan as best as we can.

“There are certain things you have to have in your makeup if you want to beat them and if you don’t beat them physically you wont stand a chance. So it goes without saying that we need to match them physically.

“I think we’ve got the skill to beat them, but if we can put enough pressure on their first phases and our first line of defence is strong enough, we can take the game to them.”

The coach gave fiery lock Quinton Davids, whose bulk and aggression could aid the Stormers course tremendously against the Bulls, only a 50 percent chance of playing. He said Davids would be assessed again on Tuesday, but that he hasn’t done any fitness training for four weeks now and that will be a consideration.