Coetzee lauds Stormers character

Date published: March 8 2014

Stormers boss Allister Coetzee admitted he felt “gutted” for his players after their agonising 14-13 loss to the Crusaders.

Stormers boss Allister Coetzee admitted he felt “gutted” for his players after their agonising 14-13 loss to the Crusaders.

A late Tom Taylor penalty sealed a comeback victory for the hosts in Christchurch on Saturday, but the visiting coach praised the efforts of his charges.

“I'm gutted for the guys – the effort they put in… they deserved the victory,” Coetzee told the Stormers website.

“The game was there for the taking but it just slipped away from us in those final 12 minutes. In the end, some of our own errors cost us again, we left two tries out there for instance, but after an effort like that you cannot help but feel for the guys.”

In particular, back-row Schalk Burger turned in a monstrous display, perhaps quietening some of his critics who suggested the Springbok would never reach the heights he scaled prior to a long-term injury layoff.

“I was happy with all the players, but Schalk, in particular, had a strong performance,” added Coetzee.

“He will be hurting more than most, but it's up to us to get up emotionally for our next game – against the defending champion Chiefs just six days away.

“I've said it before, but this team has immense character.I thought the guys were unbelievable in all departments out there in what was an unbelievable performance, but their character stood out the most.”

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