Red card galvanised Blues – Coetzee

Date published: February 23 2015

A committed display from the Blues after they were reduced to 14 men forced the Stormers to settle for a hard-fought, rather than a comfortable, victory at Newlands on Saturday.

The hosts had the extra-man advantage from as early 24th minute onwards when referee Craig Joubert red-carded Blues lock Hayden Triggs.

However, from that stage onwards, the Stormers were not able to fully exploit situation and eke out a bonus point win because the match had been reduced to a dog fight, said Stormers coach Allister Coetzee.

"I want you to see the stats of how many teams won comfortably after their opponents had a red card against them," he revealed.

"What happens after a player is red-carded is that the team becomes galvanised.

"The team knows they will be under the pump and they start to raise their work rate by a percentage in order to cope."

Coetzee said it was not a pleasing performance after last week's away display against the Bulls.

"This performance was far from the standard that we set ourselves but we also know that we were up against a team that fielded eight All Blacks," he added.

"It was also our first game (for the season) at Newlands so there were a lot of expectations. There are a lot of things to fix and we'll have a good look at that on Monday."

Triggs' departure was brought about after he punched the Stormers captain and number eight Duane Vermeulen who was playing in his 100th Super Rugby game.

"It was a big tactic of the Blues to get under our skin and Duane was one of the big players that they targeted," said Coetzee.

"I'm happy that Duane did not retaliate in the heat of the moment. I'm very proud of Duane because for him it is always a contest, but he kept his cool."

After a strong breakdown performance last week, the Stormers came up short on Saturday.

"The breakdown was a massive issue for us and they really came at us," explained Coetzee.

"Their rush (defence) was big and those are all things we could have handled better.

"But it's two wins after two (games) and we're pleased considering this time last year it was no wins after two games."