Stormers talk motivated Brumbies
Cape Town - So much had been said about the physical battle at the breakdown in the build-up to Saturday's Super Rugby playoff at Newlands.
The Stormers were without captain Duane Vermeulen while the Brumbies were hoping all week that David Pocock would be passed fit. The Australian visitors were granted their wish, but when the Stormers confirmed on match day that they were without Schalk Burger through a groin strain, there was a collective deep breath that could be felt throughout the rugby-loving fraternity of the Western Cape.
The absence of Vermeulen was always going to be a big blow, but the absence of Burger and Vermeulen had the potential to be match-deciding.
As it turns out, the Stormers were poor enough on the night to suggest that nobody could have saved them and coach Allister Coetzee was making no excuses afterwards.
Brumbies captain Stephen Moore did acknowledge that the Stormers were worse off without Burger and Vermeulen, but he would not take anything away from his side's dominant display.
"I think whenever you take those two guys out of it in any team it is going to make an impact," Moore said.
"There's no doubt, they are quality players. But it's the same for our team; we've lost some of our key players."
Moore added that the talk in the build-up had motivated his side to be up for the match physically.
"There had been a fair bit said during the week coming from the Stormers camp around the physicality and things like that, and they're the kind of things that just stick in the back of your mind when you run out there," he said.
"I thought the boys really took that on board and fronted up physically and that was important against this team."
The Brumbies will now take on the table-topping Hurricanes in the semi-finals on Saturday.