Stormers boss John Dobson was delighted with how his side played despite losing 10-3 to Munster on Saturday night.
The replay of last season’s final was a tight affair in the rain and wind with the defending champions having enough to hold onto the result.
Both teams played the conditions very well with Edwin Edogbo’s try the difference between the two sides.
The Capetonians came into the clash off a frustrating loss against Benetton in Treviso the week before but Dobson feels that there is a lot to take from their performance.
“It doesn’t feel like Benetton last week. I thought we fought back magnificently,” Dobson said after the match. “I don’t think we got the reward from our scrum dominance, but that was also down to a couple of our own mistakes, where we should’ve kept the ball in.
“There were three British & Irish Lions in this Munster team, backed by a crowd, in a game played in the wind and rain. We won the contestable battle and it didn’t feel like we were tactically outdone by a northern hemisphere team, which is a great improvement and probably our biggest takeaway.
“If we got a try, 10-10 would’ve been a fairer outcome, but this a very difficult place to win and Munster are getting closer and closer to being fully loaded. So I am very happy with the performance, but disappointed because we could’ve controlled the outcome.”
Dobson acknowledged how hard it is to win away at Munster and the fact that his team came close without his Rugby World Cup winners is encouraging for the coach.
“This is probably one of the toughest places to come and win at, in the whole competition, let alone when it’s windy and rainy on a Saturday night,” Dobson added. “We properly boxed and got it right tactically to a large degree.
“This performance gives me so much hope for this team. It’s not a question of losing faith in the team, I am actually feeling proud and more excited about them now.
“This is proper depth. We had probably flyhalf number four playing today, when you consider that Manie (Libbok) and Damian (Willemse) are one and two, and Sacha is three if we have Dan at inside centre. It gives me a lot of room for optimism.”
The Stormers are eyeing a win at Cardiff next weekend which will give them a decent enough platform to build on at home.
“We need the win in Cardiff. If we get that win, we are three from six games, which is only 50% but five of those games would’ve been away, so it’s quite a nice way to launch at home,” he said.
“It does make next Friday night very important for us. So we are going to have another pressured week of preparation, but if we delve into this game properly, there is a lot to take from it. If we get that win on Friday night, we are really well positioned.”