No excuses, says Coetzee

PUBLISHED: May 3, 2015

DHL Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee offered no excuses after his team’s 17-25 Vodacom Super Rugby defeat at the hands of the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday night.

The Men from the Cape lost their fourth game of the 2015 season and their first to South African opposition – that after facing a 3-18 deficit after 26 minutes of action.

Tries by Dillyn Leyds and Duane Vermeulen gave the Cape side hope, however, as they trailed by just 17-18 as the final ten minutes drew closer – only for a series of missed kicks at goal to deny them taking the lead.

Coach Coetzee told the www.iamastormer.com website: “It’s a case of one big frustration, we didn’t deserve to win the game, the Cheetahs started well and they deserved the win.

“We still created enough chances, but that is not the standard that we are used to and we really disappointed in ourselves.

“It is no use having a dominant scrum and then you win a penalty and kick it out, but you can’t win your line-out and you can’t kick it through the poles.

“We weren’t good enough and we take full responsibility for that,” he said.

Despite their loss in Bloemfontein, the DHL Stormers are still in second place on the SA Conference log after 12 rounds of action in 2015, whilst they also occupy seventh position on the overall competition standings.

“We have come back from more difficult situations than this one, we have got to take it on the chin,” said Coetzee, whose team will host the Brumbies at DHL Newlands on Saturday, May 9. (BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE!)

“We know tonight was going to be tough, we’d last won here in 2012… but we let ourselves down. We’re a talented team, but it’s a young team and we will learn from this big lesson – starting with the Brumbies next week.”

To add to Saturday’s loss, vice-captain and outside centre Juan de Jongh limped off with a hip injury in the 23rd minute – the only new injury worry in the DHL Stormers camp – and Coetzee revealed: “Juan de Jongh has got a hip-pointer, he is the only one who could be doubtful for next week.”

Meanwhile, skipper Duane Vermeulen – one of his team’s two try-scorers on the night – admitted that his team’s mental state was not quite where it should have been.

A determined Vermeulen said: “Rugby is a physical game, but it’s also a mental game. In the physical stakes I think we pitched up, but we lost it out there in the mental game.”