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Coetzee : Stormers are down but not out

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee still has hope for the Stormers season

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Article Published: Sunday 7 April 2013

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee says that his team 'down but not out' after they lost for the first time in eight matches to the Cheetahs.

The 26-24 extra time loss to the Cheetahs is the Stormers fourth loss from six Super Rugby matches this season.

Ironically the two teams that the Stormers have beaten are the two franchises that lead the Super Rugby standings - the Chiefs and the Brumbies.

Against the Cheetahs the Stormers were leading after 80 minutes but the Cheetahs kept the ball alive and held on for the penalty which Burton Francis kicked to win the match.

"We're down but we're definitely not out," said Coetzee on the Stormers site after the match.

"We will never give up - not this team!"

Coetzee, however, admitted that the Stormers were to blame for the defeat and he added: "We were our own worst enemies. "

"We were in a position to win (the match), but we let ourselves down and lost again due to unforced errors at critical stages in the match.

"I don't want to take anything away from the Cheetahs, but both their tries came from errors by us - one of which saw us lose the ball on their line, with us on attack, and the other came from a charge-down. "

"I guess you also need a bit of luck in top-level sport" the ball doesn't seem to be bouncing our way at the moment."

The Stormers line-out functioned superbly against the Cheetahs, with Super Rugby centurion Andries Bekker and lock partner De Kock Steenkamp leading the way, but Coetzee admitted: "Our line-out was good" but not our scrums."

"It was obviously great to see how our line-out improved from the previous week (against the Crusaders), but we need to ensure that all facets of our game function properly - at once.

"(But) we will keep working hard, as we have all season, and when it comes together we will take it to a new level," added a determined Stormers boss.

The loss to the Cheetahs came with an added cost as the injury list has been extended and it looks like the Stormers will have to make do without powerful fullback Jaco Taute who suffered a potentially season-ending knee injury in the 30th minute on Saturday.

"We are waiting on official confirmation from the doctor," said Coetzee of Taute's freakish injury, "but Jaco could be out for the rest of the season with a damaged ACL."

On other injuries, Coetzee added: "Siya Kolisi suffered a slight ankle strain, but he will train tomorrow and we will have to see about Elton Jantjies who twisted his knee a bit. Elton was in a bit of pain after the match, but we will know more tomorrow."

Forwards Don Armand (intercostal rib muscle injury) and Rynhardt Elstadt (shoulder) will also be assessed on Monday after they missed the match against the Cheetahs.

Winger Gerhard van den Heever's knee injury is expected to keep him out of action for another week while hooker Scarra Ntubeni (shoulder) will resume training this week but will not be considered for selection yet.

Lck Eben Etzebeth (ankle) and wing Bryan Habana (knee) will also not be considered for selection as they are still undergoing treatment on their respective injuries.

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