The Stormers, outscored 10-3 in the second half, kept their composure to grind out a 19-13 victory over the Waratahs in a Super Rugby clash in Cape Town on Saturday.
The win over the New South Wales visitors takes the Stormers to the top of the Super Rugby standings.
The Cape franchise ran out buoyed by the Bulls' 16-11 loss to the Highlanders in Dunedin earlier in the day and they certainly started out in a manner which suggested they were likely to score their first bonus-point win in 11 matches this season.
Waratahs coach Michael Foley said that after the first half which left them trailing 16-3, he felt that his side knew what they had to do to rescue the situation.
“We spoke during the halftime break about the things that we needed to adjust and we did put the Stormers under pressure (in the second half),” Foley said.
“The constant kicking on our part was a way of dealing with the Stormers but then we gave away silly penalties.
“We expected the Stormers to use the ball well and I'm pleased with the way we made our tackles.”
Foley's counterpart Allister Coetzee said the Waratahs had kicked at least 20 percent more than they usually do in the match because they felt a kicking game would work for them.
“It was important for us to grind out a win by adapting to their kicking game,” Coetzee said.
“Adaptation is the nature of this competition and it was a typical 'Test' contest.
“We are grateful for this win and we certainly had a good crack at attack, but it was more important that we kept the winning momentum although we really would like to have scored four tries.”
Stormers captain Jean de Villiers said that although he was pleased with the team's performance he was concerned about the lapse of concentration after half-time.
“We were punished just after halftime because players were going out of our playing structures,” De Villiers said.
“It came about because of a lapse of concentration but that apart I was happy with the overall performance.
“The rain started coming down in the second half and again we needed to change our game.
“You would have noticed that the Waratahs also did not throw the ball around.”
The Stormers now head for SA derby showdowns against the Sharks and the Bulls in successive weeks, ahead of the mid-season break for the Test rugby season.
Coetzee said the biggest concern would be the management of players who will be playing for the Springboks against touring England because that could determine the state of health in the Stormers’ squad when Super Rugby resumes at the end of June. – Sapa