Cape Town – Stormers coach Allister Coetzee says his side’s 16-0 victory over the Bulls in their Super Rugby match at Newlands on Saturday was one of their best performances of the season.
The Stormers ran up a first-half 16-0 lead, and the score remained the same until the final whistle in a low scoring affair.
“We were ready for this North-South derby and we played with great intensity,” said Coetzee after the match.
“We played some of our best rugby this year and it was pleasing especially because it was against a side like the Bulls.
“We showed the balance between attack and defence that we have been striving for.”
The presence of Victor Matfield made life difficult for the Stormers at lineout time, but Coetzee conceded that it was to be expected.
“Victor is such a master at controlling the lineouts that opponents will always battle there and it would have been better if he was not there,” said Coetzee.
“It is not something that we cannot fix and with the Sharks up next week, we know we have some work to do there.”
Stormers flyhalf Kurt Coleman again justified his selection ahead of stalwart Peter Grant with a near-flawless goalkicking display and his distribution served his untried midfield well.
“Kurt brings a balance to the game from the flyhalf position and his goalkicking even in the poor conditions continues to improve,” said Coetzee.
“I was happy with our centre combination – Sailosi Tagicakibau and Juan de Jongh – even though they have never played together before.”
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke accepted that the Stormers’ first-half effort effectively brought a sobering end to his side’s play-off hopes.
“The Stormers really started well and exerted big pressure,” said Ludeke.
“It was a game of two halves but we just couldn’t get points in the second half. The Stormers won the gameline battle and we also lost the ball at crucial stages.”
Several Stormers players, such as Pat Cilliers, Deon Fourie, Gio Aplon (France) and Schalk Burger (Japan) will be severing ties with Newlands at the end of the season next week.
“There are a few guys going overseas and we wanted to give players a good send-off, “said Coetzee.
“We want to end off on a high note and we’re looking to do the same next week.” – Sapa