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Proteas comeback inspires Stormers

Mon, 24 Feb 2014 21:34
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The players know it is not just a matter of turning up
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The Stormers will draw on the inspiration of the Proteas' spectacular comeback against Australia when they look to put their opening round Super Rugby loss behind them.

Following the fall-out from their disappointing 10-34 loss to the Lions, a performance captain Jean de Villiers described as "disgusting", the men from Cape Town have vowed to start playing to their true potential.

The Stormers get a chance to "put the record straight" when they host the Hurricanes at Newlands on Friday, their first home game of the season.

Coach Allister Coetzee said it was vital that his team bounced back, as they will head off on a four-week Australasian tour at the weekend.

And a second defeat could turn the trip into a horror show, given the quality of the opposition - the Crusaders, Chiefs, Brumbies and Reds on consecutive weekends.

"The players realise we have six days to turn it around," Coetzee told a media briefing at the team's base in Bellville on Monday.

"If we want to go on tour and have good tour, we have to win this week, it doesn't matter if it is by one, two or three points."

He admitted they can draw inspiration  from the manner in which South African's national cricket team bounced back in the wake of a drubbing at the hands of the Aussies in the opening match of a three-Test series.

Australia won by 281 runs in a dominant performance in Pretoria, only for the Proteas to produce an equally commanding 231-run win at the weekend.

"We spoke about that," Coetzee said, when asked if they could do something similar.

"The Proteas did it," he said, adding: "The Irish beat the Welsh and then they [Wales] turned it around against France.

"The players know it is not just a matter of turning up - it is about turning and be upset about last week's game.

"That is what our supporters expect of us and we as a group expect of each other - to turn up and make sure we get it right this weekend.

"The Proteas are an example of how players and teams turn this around."

The Stormers mentor said they have to be cautious of the Hurricanes, who are also coming off a disappointing loss - a 9-27 defeat against the Sharks.

"I have learnt from this competition that you take nothing for granted, it is never easy," Coetzee said, adding: "You have to take your opportunities.

"They [the Sharks] initially had  opportunities they didn't take and then it became an arm-wrestle [against the Hurricanes].

"Once there is a chance you have to nail it and get your points.

"[The Hurricanes have] four All Blacks in the backline, that is where their strength is.

"We have to make sure we come up with a good performance.

"The Hurricanes, over the years, have never been scared to run the ball. That is their strength, as well as creating opportunities, with their ability to off-load, will make it challenging for our defence again."

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