Coetzee: Confidence still there

    2013-03-05 07:43

    Cape Town - The Stormers will be driven by pure desperation in their search for a first Super Rugby win in 2013 after back-to-back defeats in their first two outings.

    After away matches against the Bulls and the Sharks the Capetonians will return to Newlands to host the reigning Super Rugby champions, the Chiefs, on Saturday evening.

    Allister Coetzee, the Stormers coach, said on Monday that there were still loads of confidence in the ranks despite the two setbacks.

    "It's not a train smash when you lose two games," said Coetzee.

    "There is still a lot of confidence in the team after they showed improvement since the first match.

    "We will be looking for even more improvement on Saturday and we're looking forward to playing at Newlands.

    "I could see the sense of urgency at training and there was greater attention to accuracy.

    "There is a strong sense of pride amongst the players and they know the responsibilities expected from each individual.

    "In the past we made winning starts although the margins were small. This season we have not done that but with a big improvement in our energy levels we'll show far greater improvement."

    Wing Bryan Habana was one of several players who stood down from training on Monday.

    "Bryan will be up for selection but he was rested because he took a knock to the quad (upper thigh)," said Coetzee.

    "Joe Pietersen has a tightness in a calf and he was resting but they'll both be in the mix to play on Saturday.

    "Frans Malherbe sat out because a back spasm in the neck and he should be back in training on Wednesday.

    "Tiaan (Liebenberg) has been training and he'll be considered."

    Centre Juan de Jongh is still battling to overcome his hamstring strain and finds himself on the sidelines for another week, while fullback Jaco Taute is still not ready for action after picking up an injury in the nether regions a week ago.

    Lions recruit Michael Rhodes who operates at lock or flank has started training and is still a week or two away from returning to action.

    Other players on the injury list include flank Schalk Burger and hooker Scarra Ntubeni. The duo could be back in action in a month's time.

    "There are quite a few key players out but imagine if we did not have the depth in our squad," said Coetzee.

    "We would have been far worse off because it would have affected our future prospects of success as the season unfolds."

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