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    Long road ahead for Stormers

    2012-03-18 12:18

    Cape Town - Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has toned down the excitement in local circles after his side claimed their third Super Rugby win in as many games at Newlands on Friday.

    There were several impressive individual performances in the Stormers' 27-17 win over the Blues, but Coetzee said there was still a long season ahead.

    "We understand we're in the month of March and this competition ends in August," said Coetzee. "That is something we understand and we're striving to be more accurate in our execution.

    "I thought were really accurate in the first half, as we showed with the set-pieces.

    "I think that laid the platform for our backs to be as direct as they were.

    "I think it was a victory for execution. I'm pleased that in the first half we gave them nothing."

    Coetzee said the side had some anxious moments in the second half when the Blues' fightback yielded two tries in the space of five minutes.

    "My feeling is that what brought them back into the game was when we became a little bit inaccurate by conceding penalties and unforced turnovers."

    For the Blues, the result was a come-back-to-Earth moment after they shocked the Bulls at Loftus a week ago. Coach Pat Lam said his side succumbed to the Stormers' relentless pressure.

    "We were disappointed in the first half because we lost possession too often and for a lot of that we have got to give credit to the Stormers because they put a lot of pressure on us," said Lam.

    "Certainly they had the advantage of being fresher, they were very physical and we didn't meet that initially. We started to work ourselves into the game but discipline cost us in the end too."

    Blues captain Keven Mealamu praised the Stormers for their spirited performance.

    "We've got to give credit where it's due and the Stormers did came out strong right from the first whistle," said Mealamu. "We needed to come away with more points in the first half.

    "We worked hard in the second half and were able to get ourselves back in the game. But it was a tough mountain to climb with so many points to claw back."

    Stormers captain Jean de Villiers said that he was mindful that the victory had been achieved against a side that had been disrupted by injuries.

    "We have to be realistic, they've suffered a massive amount of injuries coming into this match," said De Villiers. "Yes, it was an unbelievable win for them last week and they are a quality side but they are missing a helluva lot of players so as the Stormers team we have to put it into a bit of perspective.

    "It was not the perfect showing. It's possible that if the game was five or ten minutes longer we might not have won this one."

    Next week the Stormers will be away to the Lions, while the Blues will host the Hurricanes at their home ground in Auckland.

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