Coetzee: 'The effort is there'
Cape Town - Stormers coach Allister Coetzee was again left lamenting crucial mistakes after his team's 17-22 loss to the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday, but he was proud of the effort that his players put into their final tour match.
The Stormers will fly back home to South Africa on Sunday after four narrow tour losses in Australasia, but Coetzee told his team's official website: "We played so well at times (against the Reds)... only for crucial mistakes to cost us again.
"I still believe that we have the ability to beat any team (we play against), unfortunately we're still making the same mistakes at crucial moments. It's been our trend, but it's something that we can rectify.
"Our line-out let us down today and we made a few mistakes in trying to run the ball back from deep in the second half, but I cannot fault the players' effort... the effort is there!
"Not many teams can come back from 10-22 down against a Reds team in Brisbane and very nearly come away with a victory. We picked up two losing bonus points on this tour, which shows how close we've been on two occasions and, of course, we conceded late tries against the Chiefs and Brumbies to lose out on bonus points."
The Stormers have 10 league matches to come, seven of which are at home between now and mid-July.
"We've played at home just once this year, in six games," Coetzee told www.iamastormer.com.
"Yes, it's been a tough tour and, yes, we were unable to come away with a win on tour, but we're all looking forward to getting home to our families, seeing familiar faces and building some momentum back at home at Newlands."
Unfortunately, experienced backline star Gio Aplon will be out of action for some time with a dislocated elbow, having left the field in the 23rd minute after falling awkwardly in a tackle.
"Gio dislocated his left elbow and, at this stage, it seems that he will be out of action for six to eight weeks," said Coetzee. "It's obviously a blow to lose someone of his ability and experience, but one bit of solace is that it's not a dislocation.
"(Lock) Jurie van Vuuren also fell awkwardly on his shoulder and had to come off, but he should be good to go for the Waratahs game."
The Stormers will land in Cape Town on Sunday evening and will resume training on Tuesday.