Cape Town - Stormers coach Allister Coetzee
has said that he is pleased with his team's resilience following their victory over the Bulls in a pre-season warm-up match in Polokwane on Saturday.GALLERY: Victor Matfield's return!
Speaking on the Stormers' official website
, Coetzee was pleased that his charges were able to shrug off the rustiness often experienced after the off-season break.
“Firstly, it was great for us to get rid of the usual pre-season rustiness and get the cobwebs out, said Coetzee.
"Secondly, it was good to put into practice – in a match situation – what we’ve been working on these past six/seven weeks.
“It was a good test for both teams.
"We ticked a few boxes (in what we’ve been working on), but it also showed us what we still need to work on.”
Coetzee said that although he was pleased with the team's fitness and execution of their set plays, it was the manner in which they came from behind to beat their northern rivals, in a match where the result mattered little.
“Our conditioning was good, our scrumming was good and our line-out was good in the first half until Ruan Botha went off. That disrupted us a bit.”
“However, a big thing for me was the resilience shown by the team – they played for the full 80 minutes and secured the win two minutes from time.
“We never kicked for goal – except for conversions – and leading up to our last try the players stuck to their guns and kept hold of the ball instead of kicking for goal.”
The only injury worry from Saturday’s encounter was lock Ruan Botha who left the field after taking a bump to the head.
“At worst, it could be concussion,” reported Coetzee, “but, otherwise, there are no other injury worries – that, in itself, is also big plus for us (from today).
“The Bulls suffered a serious-looking injury to (loose forward) Arno Botha
, that didn’t look good, so we’re thankful that we didn’t pick up any new injuries.
“Players like Rynhardt Elstadt and Michael Rhodes
, who are back from injuries, got some valuable game time too and Schalk Burger played a full 80 minutes.
"Damian de Allende and Kobus van Wyk showed up well on the wing, given that we played four centres in our backline, so, overall I am pleased with how today went.”
The Stormers will next travel to Port Elizabeth to take on the Kings on Friday, before their traditional pre-season match against Boland in Wellington the week after.
The Stormers will kick off their 2014 Super Rugby campaign away to the Lions on 22 February, followed by their first home game against the Hurricanes the following week.