The Stormers' steely resolve will be subjected to further stringent tests in the next few weeks as their loose forward crisis has taken a turn for the worse.
They grinded out an uninspiring 16-14 win over the Cheetahs at Newlands on Saturday that came at great cost with eighthman Nizaam Carr suffering a knee injury in the first half.
Stormers coach said after the match that Carr's injury looked serious.
“The injury to Carr doesn't look good and it (the injury) looks like it will be long-term,” Coetzee said after the match.
The Stormers had flown in London Irish loose forward Jebb Sinclair last week, with long-term injuries to first-choice players in Schalk Burger, Duane Vermeulen and Nick Koster.
More woes followed when Carr's loose forward partner, Rynhardt Elstadt, was given a yellow card after a scuffle.
Elstadt could be slapped with a ban after the incident was reviewed, robbing the Stormers of his services for their coming matches.
Also likely to be cited were Stormers hooker Deon Fourie and the Cheetahs' loose forward Ashley Johnson, who were issued with off-field yellow cards for throwing punches in the mass fight.
After the match Coetzee and Stormers captain Jean de Villiers made no effort to hide their disappointment with the team's inept performance.
“It is not an excuse but once again it was a poor performance after a bye week,” said Coetzee.
“We'll have to improve if we are going anywhere in this competition.”
De Villiers said the performance was “poor” and some of performances of the Springboks were not up to scratch.
“There were performances (by Springboks) out there that were not worthy of the Springbok jersey,” said De Villiers.
“We won but we are not happy about the way we played in the second half.
Naka Drotske said defeat was disappointing especially because his side had done their homework and knew what to expect at Newlands.
“We know that the Stormers score 65% of their points from penalties and then we give away penalties because of ill-discipline in our own half,” said Drotske. – Sapa