Stormers happy to win ugly

Sat, 01 Mar 2014 11:33
Large stormers maul.jpg630

Although their performance against the Hurricanes was far from convincing, the Stormers are happy to take the win and run as they head on a tough tour.

Although their performance against the Hurricanes was far from convincing, the Stormers are happy to take the win and run as they head on a tough tour.

The Cape side battled to take advantage of their opportunities against a committed Hurricanes side at Newlands on Friday, and had to rely on a last-minute try by flank Deon Fourie from a driving maul to snatch a dramatic one-point victory.

The win came as a huge relief following their diabolical display against the Lions the week before, and captain Jean de Villiers admitted after the game that they would have taken any win as a sign of progress.

"We are very happy with the win, nothing special or spectacular but I thought that there was definite improvement, a lot of the stuff that we have been working on started to come through.

"It was a very tough week emotionally and I thought the ability of the guys to bounce back was great, to be able to come away with the win - I will take that.

"You want to take the games you can win, enjoy the win and move on to the next one.

"The one point is huge, it is a huge win and it doesn't matter how we played or how we got it, it was just important to win this one," he said.

Coach Allister Coetzee admitted that their inability to finish the numerous chances they created was frustrating, but said that there had been a big improvement in intensity from their capitulation at Ellis Park.

"There are lots of things to work on still, especially with our opportunities not taken, but we are very pleased to get a narrow win tonight.

"It was a step in the right direction for us, what was better was the intensity we played with. When we carried we really ran hard and made yards. It is just a matter of taking the right option, we should have scored three or four tries.

"We were creating but we just have to take those opportunities when it is on," he said.

Although their only try in front of their home crowd came through a last-minute driving maul, Coetzee said that showed the character of his team as they were willing to fight right until the end.

"The ability to fight back shows the character in the team. It is a relatively young side and it was a difficult week. We had six days to turn it around and we did.

"It was a fantastic line-out try which shows the trust in the team. We lost five line-outs and we had lost the previous line-out there and the captain called again for the mauling try which shows the trust and it shows that this team has got belief.

"Once you lose five line-outs and so many opportunities in any team it would have gone down south. I see things and glimpses of three or four years ago when we scraped out wins and got the confidence and momentum in this competition.

"From that perspective it is a massive win for us, this is what we needed," he said.

On top of their inability to take their opportunities, another area of concern for Coetzee is the line-outs after they coughed up possession five times on their own throw against the Hurricanes.

The Stormers coach pointed to inexperience as a factor in their inconsistent performance, but remains confident that they will continue improving.

"I think we need to get sharper in terms of the line-outs, which are not as good as the other facets.

"The side is young and it is improving, we have just got to make sure that the graph is going up. The basics must be done properly and that is where we are now," he said.

The Stormers now head overseas, with their first assignment against a Crusaders side that has not been able to secure a single log point from their first two games, before they take on the Chiefs, Brumbies and Reds in a demanding schedule.

De Villiers said that they are expecting a major response from the seven-times champion Crusaders as they look for their first-ever win in Christchurch.

"They will be hurting from the result and they are a formidable team at home - we have never won there so it is a great challenge for us and we are looking forward to a tough four week tour," he said.

By Michael de Vries

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