De Villiers: ‘Crowd pulled us through’
Stormers captain Jean de Villiers praised the enthusiastic support of the ‘Newlands faithful’ after Saturday's win over the Chiefs.
There were 37,178 people at Newlands on Saturday to witness the Stormers first win of the season and Springbok and Stormers captain Jean de Villiers praised the enthusiastic support of the ‘Newlands faithful’.
The Stormers had been under great pressure to win after suffering two successive defeats and the attacking onslaught from the Chiefs at the end of the game, when the home team were struggling to hang on to their 36-34 lead, meant the result could have gone either way.
“I think the crowd pulled us through at the end,” De Villiers said.
De Villiers was happy and relieved to have won the game against the defending champions, and particularly impressed with the Stormers players’ response to their defeats against the Bulls and Sharks.
“I'm just relieved after the win. I think a massive effort was put in by the team. A lot of pride was at stake and the guys put up their hands. They showed that they're willing to play for each other and play for this team; that's a very pleasing thing.
“The commitment was there. Each individual took a hard look at themselves in the mirror and said we need to turn it around. And we managed to do it.
“It was so close that we were to losing another one. It could have gone either way but I'm very pleased with the response and sometimes you just need a result like that to get the momentum going.”
Commenting on the four tries scored by the Chiefs, De Villiers said: “Their first two tries were well executed by them but you know again, the bounce of the ball can go either way. The other two I thought they did well to score.“
He added: “They are the champions. They're a quality side; they're physical, they're a very good attacking team and also very effective on defence. They've got great players, and we were under pressure.
“I think the crowd pulled us through at the end. It could easily have gone the other way so I'm happy with the win and hopefully we can take the momentum, “ the veteran of 84 Test matches and 85 Super Rugby games concluded.
By Len Kaplan