Huge, huge win – De Villiers

Date published: March 3 2014

Stormers captain Jean de Villiers underlined the importance of claiming four points against the Hurricanes ahead of tough overseas tour.

While Stormers captain Jean de Villiers admitted his team had not been at their best, he underlined the importance of claiming four points against the Hurricanes on Friday ahead of tough overseas tour.

Speaking after his side's uninspiring performance in their come-from-behind 19-18 win at Newlands, De Villiers noted that heading to Christchurch – where they have never won – with four points in the bag would have a significant impact on the morale in the camp and the Stormers' campaign as a whole.

“This win… the one point, it's huge – it's a huge win,” said De Villiers.

“It was nothing special, nothing spectacular (but) it doesn't matter how we did it or how we got it… we got it. The margins are small in this competition… before you wipe your eyes out you could find yourself (low) down on the log, so you take any win in Super Rugby.

“The key, right now, is for us to learn from our errors.

“Yes, the maul worked for us in the end this week, but we didn't get points on three/four occasions before that when I elected to kick for the corner. Maybe we need to sit down and take a look and say let's take the points on offer. The key is to keep making the right decisions and, if not, to learn from the wrong ones.”

“Our ability to bounce back (after trailing for most of the game) was great and then come away with a win.

“It was a tough week emotionally (after the Lions defeat) but we took it on the chin and moved on.

“We'll enjoy the win and focus on the next game. We look forward to playing the Crusaders (next week) and hope that we keep evolving.”

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee conceded that the Stormers had lost five line-outs but still had faith in their set-piece ability to provide the platform to launch their match-winning effort in the dying stages of the game.

“Towards the end of the match, we had just lost a line-out when we opted for another one to set us up,” said Coetzee.

“That showed the faith the team has in its ability and the maul came good.

“This team has belief, and to go on tour in this fashion will help us realise that we're heading in the right direction.

“Teams know that we have a solid defence and that's why most teams kick against us,” said Coetzee.

“We handled the opposition's kicks better than we did last week (against the Lions).”

Well-placed kicks from the Hurricanes duo TJ Perenara and Hadleigh Parkes in the closing stages of the first half resulted in tries by wings Julian Savea and Cory Jane respectively.

Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith was a gutted man when he reflected on his team's inability to close out the match after they held an 18-12 lead with three minutes' playing time left.

“Rugby can be a cruel game as we played really well only to lose at the death,” said Smith.

“Our defence was outstanding and I am really proud of the boys.

“It was a game we could have easily won and if we just keep preparing the way we did and play the way we did we will win more than we lose.”

Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett said his side had suffered cruel luck.

“The game is a bit cruel sometimes, isn't it? You love the game but it doesn't always love you back,” Hammett said.

“I thought we certainly created plenty of chances, I thought our forwards played particularly well.

“We put a lot of work into our scrum and line-out and I thought our defensive line-outs were outstanding.”