Coetzee heaps praise on De Allende
Cape Town - Stormers coach Allister Coetzee
has been impressed with centre Damian de Allende’s performances during the
opening rounds of Super Rugby this season.
The Stormers have been the surprise
packages this season as they have won all four of their Super Rugby fixtures so
far, beating the Bulls, Blues, Lions and Sharks. These results have seen the
Cape side secure top spot in the South African conference and overall
Despite having a young squad, the Stormers
have risen to the occasion, delivering solid performances and turning their
opportunities and pressure into points to secure these victories.
While Coetzee noted that it has been a huge
team effort, he also recognised the valuable contributions from De Allende, who
has been one of the star performers this year.
“At the start of the season, people
questioned the selection of Damian at inside centre. However, he has proven
these critics wrong as he has done very well there,” Coetzee told
“He’s been outstanding in the No 12 jersey,
making a big impact on attack and defence, proving to be powerful with the ball
in hand and making big tackles. A big reason for his improvement is his
improved fitness and conditioning after working hard during the off-season and
pre-season. He’s stronger than before.
“We do have a young squad, but our senior
players have stood up and played a big role for the team, like Duane Vermeulen,
Juan de Jongh and Damian.”
Looking ahead to their next Super Rugby
match, the Stormers face the Chiefs at Newlands on Saturday.
The 2013 Super Rugby champions will provide
a massive challenge, but Coetzee believes his troops can continue their winning
form if they build on their form and intensity.
“There’s no doubt that the Chiefs match is
a big game. We will need to plan well,” said Coetzee. “We need to pitch up and
show the same intensity we have produced so far. That’s a big reason why we
have won four games so far, which has given us a major psychological boost.
“It’s also great to play the match at
Newlands. Against the Sharks, we played in front of a crowd of over 40 000
fans. And that gives the players plenty of motivation. It’s always a special
occasion to play at Newlands.”
Saturday’s clash kicks off at 15:00.
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