DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee praised his team’s character after they finished their 2015 Vodacom Super Rugby tour with a gutsy 13-6 victory over the Force at Perth’s nib Stadium on Saturday.
The DHL Stormers led by 10-6 at half-time, after leading 10-3 after ten minutes, and they were forced to withstand a serious onslaught in the final few minutes from their hosts before finishing their tour on a high.
It means the Men from Cape Town will return from tour with ten log points – a satisfactory haul made up of two wins (one with a bonus point) and a losing bonus point.
Coetzee told the www.iamastormer.com website: “It wasn’t our best performance, but I am pleased with the result.
“Our fundamentals were poor (on the night),” added Coetzee. “We created a lot of opportunities with ball in hand, but we lost the ball on attack a lot.
“(But) it’s important to keep on winning, especially to build on our fantastic win over the Waratahs. I thought the guys showed plenty of character to win a dog-fight… our will to win was certainly there.”
The DHL Stormers will return to South Africa in sixth position on the overall Super Rugby log and in second place on the SA Conference standings – just two points behind the Vodacom Bulls, who, of course, are due in Cape Town next week.
“On the whole, I would say the tour was satisfactory (from a results perspective),” said Coetzee.
“We are right up there on the log, in sixth place, with a string of home games ahead of us – starting next week against the Bulls at DHL Newlands.
“We’re looking forward to heading back home after four weeks on the road and we’re looking forward to playing in front of our home fans again.”
Right-wing Kobus van Wyk is the only DHL Stormers injury worry after Saturday’s win over the Force, having twisted his knee.
Said Coetzee: “Kobus went over his knee, it was an awkward sort of twist on his knee… but we will know more over the next 24 hours and will be able to say for sure when we get home.”
The DHL Stormers will leave Perth for South Africa on Sunday evening (local time). They will arrive in Cape Town, via Johannesburg, on Monday morning (local time).
The players will not train on Monday, before starting preparations for next weekend’s Bulls match (at DHL Newlands, kick-off 19h10) on Tuesday.
“It’s quite a challenge for us,” admitted Coetzee, when asked about the short week of training.
“But it’s not something we haven’t done before. We have gone on tour before facing similar scenarios, but at least we know what to expect.
“We will begin our planning in Perth, before we fly, it’s a matter of ensuring our players are all fit and ready to go for the Bulls.”