Coetzee: Our plan is working
Sport24 chief writer Rob Houwing (File)
Cape Town - The Stormers may have largely retreated into their “demon
defence” comfort zone in a second half once more, but senior personnel
insist after the latest victory that grander goals remain firmly on
It is hard to seriously fault that logic, as they
returned to top spot on the overall Super Rugby table following their
19-13 triumph over the Waratahs in Week 13 at Newlands on Saturday,
despite a promising first 40 minutes of high-tempo and occasionally very
creative play rather wilting once more into a slog-it-out mode to
secure the win without a bonus point.
“There should only be one half,” coach Allister Coetzee quipped at the press briefing afterwards.
we are satisfied with the win; another hard-fought battle out there and
again like a Test match. It’s the nature of the competition ... you’ve
got to make sure you grind out your wins.
“Conditions were quite
nice in the first half, nice and dry, and there was a big improvement in
our attack. I was pleased with what I saw, and we roll on in the
competition, making sure we win first.
“It’s not the final
product yet and we still have work to do. The plans is working: 10 wins
from 11 games, a Vodacom Cup side that is successful, winning it for the
first time in 11 years, so it says a lot about the structures here in
“It’s about moving forward as a franchise and union, and don’t under-estimate the depth we’ve created. It augurs well.”
praised his troops for their customary defensive polish and the fact
that “our physical game was right up there” on the chilly night.
made some pretty big hits on them and Eben (Etzebeth) was outstanding
again tonight, and also another youngster like Steven Kitshoff who has
been playing 80 minutes throughout the competition. Frans Malherbe made a
big impact when he came on, too.”
Both the coach and captain
Jean de Villiers admitted that the resurgent Sharks posed a major threat
in a mouth-watering Durban derby next Saturday (19:10).
Sharks game is a massive clash against a quality side - they just got
five points away to the Cheetahs which shows that,” said Coetzee.
for Springbok centre De Villiers, he defiantly reminded Sport24 upon
inquiry that if the Sharks have been on a healthy roll of late, “so have
“I’m very happy with the performance today. The way we
played in the first half was good; then there was a lapse in
concentration soon after halftime with two players going out of
structure on defence and allowing a try.
“Rain came down in the
second half and we adapted to it with our kicking game. It was a better
performance than last week (against the Cheetahs at the same venue) --
we handled the ball a lot more tonight, so things are heading in the
“We didn’t see the latest (Sharks) game,
obviously, but they’re probably the team that’s impressed me the most in
the last couple of weeks and a team playing with a lot of momentum and
confidence and that’s dangerous.
“We’re under no illusions about what we face next week, a massive battle.”
Meanwhile Waratahs coach Michael Foley told Sport24 he felt the Stormers should remain strong contenders for the silverware.
“I think so; they have a very good squad. The set-piece is good, and their halves control the game well.
are especially fine at the sharp end of the tournament and the Stormers
know how to win close matches; they’ve got to have a good shout.”*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing