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    Stormers 'down, but not out'

    2013-04-08 11:02
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    Cape Town - Stormers coach Allister Coetzee says his team is 'down, but not out', after they lost 26-24 to the Cheetahs under dramatic circumstances in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

    VIDEO: New fan fight video from Newlands

    According to the Stormers' website, Coetzee’s charges were beaten in the fourth minute of injury-time; their first Super Rugby loss to the Cheetahs since 2007, but the Stormers are not about to give up.

    “We’re down but we’re definitely not out,” said Coetzee on Sunday. “We will never give up - not this team!”

    However, Coetzee admitted that the Stormers were to blame for the defeat: “We were our own worst enemies. We were in a position to win (the match), but we let ourselves down and lost again due to unforced errors at critical stages in the match.

    “I don’t want to take anything away from the Cheetahs, but both their tries came from errors by us - one of which saw us lose the ball on their line, with us on attack, and the other came from a charge-down. I guess you also need a bit of luck in top-level sport... the ball doesn’t seem to be bouncing our way at the moment.”

    The Stormers lineout functioned superbly against the Cheetahs, with Super Rugby centurion Andries Bekker and lock partner De Kock Steenkamp leading the way, but Coetzee admitted: “Our lineout was good, but not our scrums.

    “It was obviously great to see how our lineout improved from the previous week (against the Crusaders), but we need to ensure that all facets of our game function properly - at once.

    “(But) we will keep working hard, as we have all season, and when it comes together we will take it to a new level,” added a determined Stormers boss.

    Unfortunately, it seems that the Stormers will have to make do without powerful fullback Jaco Taute who suffered a potentially season-ending knee injury in the 30th minute on Saturday.

    “We are waiting on official confirmation from the doctor,” said Coetzee of Taute’s freakish injury, “but Jaco could be out for the rest of the season with a damaged ACL.”

    On other injuries, Coetzee added: “Siya Kolisi suffered a slight ankle strain, but he will train on Monday and we will have to see about Elton Jantjies who twisted his knee a bit. Elton was in a bit of pain after the match, but we will know more (on Monday).”

    Forwards Don Armand (intercostal rib muscle injury) and Rynhardt Elstadt (shoulder) will also be assessed on Monday, after missing the Cheetahs' match, but wing Gerhard van den Heever (knee) will not be back this coming week.

    Hooker Scarra Ntubeni (shoulder) will take a full part in training this week, but won’t be considered for selection as yet and neither will lock Eben Etzebeth (ankle) and wing Bryan Habana (knee), who are still undergoing treatment on their respective injuries.

    The Stormers will host the Sharks in Super Rugby action at Newlands on Saturday, April 13 (kick-off 17:05).

    HAVE YOUR SAY: Stormers coach Allister Coetzee says the ball "hasn't been bouncing his team's way of late". Has he conveniently forgotten about the seven-pointer incorrectly awarded to the Stormers against the Cheetahs last weekend? Send your thoughts to Sport24.
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