Going to Port Elizabeth to face the EP Kings was never going to be easy, particularly following their impressive display in a narrow 16-12 loss to the Vodacom Bulls last week. However, the DHL Stormers survived a tense opening to come out 38-13 in a Super Rugby warm up clash.
DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee reflecting on the game, took a lot of positives out of the clash with just two weeks to go until the start of the 2012 campaign. He said: “One of the big plusses today was the returns of Duane [Vermeulen] and Andries [Bekker] who both came through their 30 minutes of rugby as planned. We handled the breakdown well. The Kings pushed us, but we were accurate. The scrums improved and the lineout went well so all in all it was great preparation for the competition.
“The wind in the stadium was swirling and made conditions very difficult to play in. We made a few mistakes and missed opportunities in the first half, but we were much improved in the second and that was shown by the four second half tries we scored.”
One of the main talking points ahead of Saturday’s clash was the shift of Springbok wing Bryan Habana to centre. The coach felt Bryan did very well in a position that he has not played at a consistent level since his time at the Lions early on in his career.
“Bryan played really well. He made one defensive error, but for 80 minutes he was excellent on attack. He was decisive on attack and he cut through the defence on numerous times. He also put through Joe Pietersen to score his try so we are very happy with his performance.”
Unfortunately one negative from the game was the injury of Deon Fourie. The hooker broke his hand and is expected to be out for between 4 and 6 weeks.
For the rest of the squad it is now all systems go to the kick off of the Vodacom Super Rugby season in a fortnight’s time against the Hurricanes at DHL Newlands. Before that, however our boys take on the Nashua Cape Cobras in the annual Newlands Cricket Challenge next Sunday. Tickets are still available at www.ticketpros.co.za.